By on January 28, 2011

Holden may be rightly proud of its competition-creaming new Caprice Police Pursuit Vehicle, but Phoenix’s Finest just have one question: how often do you have to change those tires? And, as TTAC’s commentariat pointed out during the Michigan State Police’s trials, maintenance costs are nearly as important for police fleet buyers as pure performance. So, though the Caprice might out-hustle and out-interior-size its police-duty competition, the fact that only a limited number of civilian Zeta-sedans will make it to American roads means parts and maintenance won’t be as cheap or easy as the old Panthers. And because it hustles so nicely, those tires won’t be the only thing that will inevitably wear out. Still, it’s probably safe to assume that at least a few police departments will be seduced by the Caprice… so you’d better start burning that grille into your memory banks.

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35 Comments on “Caprice: King Of The Cop Cars?...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    New standard issue FBI car with labor rate discounts for the U.S. Government as a shareholder?  (Sorry couldn’t resist I normally try to stay out of the “Gubament Motors” argument.)  I’m just praying for a civilian version.

    • 0 avatar

      You can always buy used police caprices, although you’ll have to wait a few years. but I sympathize, although I think the greenhouse is a bit skimpy and I’d prefer a clutch. But at least from the video it looks like a really nice car–though not as cop-stylish as the old bubble caprice. That was a car that really looked the part.

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    Cops don’t need hi-po cars. Rather than an enforcement tool, they are really just an intimidation tool. Radios, video identification and aircraft render most police chases unnecessary.

  • avatar
    jimbowski

    And we have to take into consideration how long parts for the Panther’s were/are produced…that is one of the reasons for low maintenance costs.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Amen to that. Read the following, it will make you pray for cop cars with speed governors and training wheels:

    http://www.justicenewsflash.com/2009/02/27/jacksonville-sheriff-kills-pickup-truck-diver-pursuing-traffic-violation_20090227836.html

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    Our small town just went with the new Dodges and the very low profile roof lights. Almost impossible to spot at night, and I have heard through the grapevine that they are catching a lot more speeders.

  • avatar
    tech98

    Will the Caprice be built in Oz?
    If so, will local governments buy an imported vehicle when there are North American-made alternatives?

    • 0 avatar
      Dukeboy01

      Local governments that have a Chrysler or Ford plant in their jurisdiction will buy Chargers or the new Taurus based Interceptors as the case may be. Local governments with GM plants in their jurisdiction will buy Caprices.

      As for the rest, they’ll buy whatever they feel is most cost effective and that serves their needs best given the totality of their circumstances. If GM is able to price the Caprice competitively and prove that the car holds up under abuse, they’ll be able to recapture a huge amount of market share.   “Made in the USA” only matters in factory towns and there are fewer and fewer of those anymore. 

      Rumor around my department is that we’re getting a few more Crown Vics this year as Ford builds out and then going to the new Taurus Interceptors. I’m curious as to how the FWD will hold up. I don’t see my city springing for the AWD. I suspect that we’ll be buying Chargers or Caprices in a couple years.

      It’s kind of funny to see GM return to the police market with a RWD after giving away almost all of the market share they had with the old B- bodies when they tried to replace it with police package FWD Impalas and over- priced Tahoe SUVs. That colossal blunder enabled Ford to dominate the police market for 14 years and allowed Chrysler to get up off the mat and carve out a fair amount of the market with the Charger. Now Ford’s going to throw away all of their market share trying to convince police departments that they can get by with FWD Tauruses or over- priced Explorers.  What’s the over/ under for how long it takes Ford to come up with a RWD sedan to market to police and taxi companies?

    • 0 avatar
      Ben

      Ford should get over it’s “Not Invented Here” hang up and follow GM’s lead by accepting that Australia develops and builds the best rear drive cars in its empire. Anybody who has driven the Australian Falcon is left wondering why this product isn’t available to American consumers.

  • avatar
    Ringer

    Thank goodness for ESP at 1:47.

  • avatar

    I tipped Autoblog to this video off Holden’s Youtube channel - http://www.youtube.com/holdeaustralia – the other day. I follow Holden news and have been following the gestation of this latest export attempt for quite awhile.  I’ve owned three Holdens now here in the US and parts are not difficult to get.

    According to Aussie media initial sales of the car are stronger than anticipated – http://www.carpoint.com.au/news/2011/large-passenger/holden/caprice/police-caprice-sales-off-to-a-steady-start-23259

    Also, Aussie jouranlists were on hand for the Phoenix ride and drive and wrote about the car and interviewed some police personnel that were on hand about the car’s origin.  GM isn’t hiding the fact the car is Australian and is coming from the Land Down Under. 

    The police answered unequivocally that it doesn’t matter to them where the car is assembled - http://www.carpoint.com.au/news/2011/large-passenger/holden/caprice/us-forces-give-the-nod-to-holdens-police-caprice-23179 - and here -http://www.carpoint.com.au/reviews/2011/large-passenger/holden/caprice/chevrolet-caprice-ppv-23262

    GM and Chrysler have the strongest entries to replace the Crown Victoria.  The Taurus is a decent family car but it has severely compromised outward visibility and it’s FWD. 

    I hope this latest export effort proves very successful for Holden and that a civilian Caprice as well as the Commodore sedan, Sportwagon and Ute all follow for Chevrolet soon after.

    • 0 avatar
      LimpWristedLiberal

      TriShield, how hard was it to import and register the Holdens here in the US?  I think a lot of people here would be interested in that, I know I would.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The Detroit automakers must really love America’s police force.

  • avatar
    wgmleslie

    Was it really necessary to go around the test track with the red and blues on?  I mean really, are all these guys 12 year olds deep down inside?

  • avatar

    Chicago’s finest are buying a lot Chevrolet Tahoes. I figure that body on frame structure is needed for the added abuser friendliness.

  • avatar
    west-coaster

    I had someone point out one thing that the Caprice has that agencies generally do NOT want: a floor shift. It takes up space needed for equipment. Dodge even went to the trouble to mount a police-only column shifter in the Charger.

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    This Caprice is far better than the silly FWD Taurus.  The Caprice will be cheaper to maintain, repair , etc.
     
    Actually, the Caprice is the best squad out there.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    This is going to be an interesting side show to watch.
    It is interesting that the Holden brand is played up throughout this clip, not Chevrolet.
     

  • avatar
    mazder3

    For more views from Phoenix including pics of a 9C1 WITH A COLUMN SHIFT (not the lame console stubby one)…
    http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/first-drive-chevrolet-caprice-ppv-20110117-19swj
    If this sells well maybe America will have a bench seat Caprice again.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    At least it’ll be easy to spot!  Damn Chargers blend right in, especially at night.

  • avatar
    mags1110

    Police cars really need to be something unique, and a VAN in NOT the answer….Police cars must be nimble to get around traffic, large enough to stand out a bit and be seen for the safety of everyone on the road. The suspension is often forgotten about as being one of the most important thing here. Some officers spend 12 hrs a day in a patrol car,  imagine how your back must feel if your driving a vehicle that can not absorb or handle the rough roads that are all around America, and don’t forget the extra 15 pounds around your belt. Yes they must have large amounts of power and need to brake short, but only their durability will sell over all, give a cop a new toy and in 15 min he will give it back and say “um, i broke it” its just part of the job. But I’m glad there are some options out there now, cause the Crown Vic isn’t the perfect car for every department.
     
    Oh and Ford is giving the option to pre order all the Vic you want  before the end on 2011 and ford will even  store them at warehouse for you until your department needs them, kinda weird right?


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