By on September 24, 2011

Last fall, the first tests of the new Chevy Caprice PPV, Dodge Charger Pursuit and Ford Taurus Interceptor generated quite a bit of interest here at TTAC and beyond, as three all-new contestants battled to replace the outgoing Crown Victoria as America’s cop car. At the time, the Caprice seemed like the clear performance favorite, but as Sajeev Mehta has pointed out, there’s more to the cop-car equation than pure speed. Although good luck trying to tell the Detroit Three that, as all three are cherry-picking performance stats in the wake of the latest round of Michigan State Police testing.

  • Chrysler arguably has the biggest performance win to brag about, noting that the “fastest-ever lap time at Grattan Raceway [1:33.70] highlights Dodge Charger Pursuit V-8 as the police sedan with the best combination of acceleration, braking, handling and dynamics.” The V8 Dodge also recorded the fastest 0-60 and 0-100 times of the trio, thanks to an optional acceleration-biased 3.06 rear axle ratio and a revised engine management system that allows top speeds of up to 151 MPH (all new for 2012, along with upgraded brakes). For the record, that 1:33:70 time is exactly three seconds faster than the Charger’s best lap time last year.
  • After “creaming” the competition last fall, it seems GM was caught a bit flat-footed by Mopars upgrades, and its press release makes no mention of its lap time (its best lap time last year was a 1:35:80). Instead The General brags about the Caprice’s leading top speed (154 MPH) and 60-0 braking (125.8 ft). And despite last year’s “LS-X FTW” talk, the Caprice V6 turns out to be the most impressive model, beating both the Charger V6 and the Taurus non-Turbo V6 in 60-0 mph braking, top speed and acceleration.
  • As predicted last year by Sajeev, Ford’s Taurus appears to be something of a performance back-marker. Ford’s presser doesn’t mention a single performance statistic, instead seeming to coast on the Panther-Interceptor’s coattails with bullet points like “Now police departments and other law enforcement agencies can get an all-new, American-made vehicle with the expected durability and price of the popular Crown Victoria.” Ford’s only performance argument is that the Taurus Ecoboost outperforms the Crown Vic… a stunningly low bar to set (even the Impala 3.6 hits a higher top speed than the EcoBoost Interceptor).

But, as we’ve pointed out, efficiency and reliability are for more important for police fleet buyers than outright performance. If Ford can make good on the promise that it will match the Crown Vic’s durability, and can prove that its Ecoboost engine will reliably offer better efficiency than the Dodge and Chevy V8s, it might make an argument for itself. But in a world where police departments are actually hoarding Crown Vics, there’s always going to be resistance to ditching the rear-drive V8 model for the perceived complexity of AWD and a turbocharged V6.

But because the performance differences between the Chevy and the Dodge are relatively small and because performance isn’t the overriding concern for police fleet buyers, Dodge’s lap record at MSP testing may be the most significant achievement in this year’s MSP testing, for reasons that have nothing to do with prospective police sales. With the Crown Vic gone and the competition for the definitive police vehicle thrown wide open, these annual Michigan State Police tests are beginning to take on the feel of a classic Detroit proxy war, not unlike the illegal drag racing that took place on Woodward Avenue at the height of the muscle car era. And because Dodge offers high-performance versions of its Charger to the general public, its ability to beat back the Australian-built, unobtainable-to-civilians Caprice could give it something of a halo to enthusiasts. Even Ford, which sells a Taurus SHO that’s not entirely unlike the new Interceptor, can leverage police performance testing results into a brand halo. Only GM, which stubbornly refuses to offer the Caprice as a civilian model, seems to be oblivious to the civilian-market implications of what is rapidly becoming an annual Detroit showdown.

With racing becoming increasingly detached from the vehicles available for sale to the general public, police performance testing is one of the last factory-backed competitions between cars that are available for sale to the general public. In short, it’s the kind of spectacle that drove the muscle car era… and have since disappeared. As the brand that’s most dependent on continued sales of V8-powered, large  rear-drive sedans, it’s no wonder Dodge upgraded its Charger in order to come away with a narrow win this year. Maybe next year Chevy should hit back… and then capitalize on the rivalry by making a Caprice available to civilians.

The Michigan State Police have not yet released full test results for 2012 model-year vehicles. TTAC will post these results as soon as they become available. Past test results can be found here

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71 Comments on “The Last Muscle-Car War: Detroit Battles For Cop-Car Supremacy...”


  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Here’s what I’m seeing (having visited the states of AZ, CA, TX, OK, MO, IL, IN, OH, and MI this summer) I most popular cop car that I saw that wasn’t a Crown Vic was the Charger. I’m thinking the two RWD cars are going to come out on top, Caprice and Charger. Although if the cops have any brains they won’t buy too many Caprices as unmarked vehicles. When your only selling to the cops, any sharp eyed individual will know your part of the po’po’ if you’re behind the wheel of a Caprice.

    • 0 avatar
      ken wagon

      I read somewhere they aren’t intended for undercover work, just daily duties stuff that doesn’t need livery.

      Anyone actually undercover would continue to draw vehicles from impound or where ever.

    • 0 avatar
      87CE 95PV Type Я

      It is funny you mention that. I recently called up Idaho Springs Colorado Police Department to see if they still have their 1994 Caprice 9C1 and it turns out they still do. I really like Caprices so this news made me very happy plus as it turns out that since the last time I was there (July 2009) they had gotten rid of their Intrepids and even their Chargers. I did not think to ask why though.

      Trying to recall if the CO State Police use more Vics or Chargers or some other vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Yup. The LEOs I’ve talked too all favor the Caprice PPV and Charger. King County is switching to the 3.6L V6 Imapalas — city of Seattle is testing out the Ford Taurus and Caprice PPV side-by-side for patrol duty, and testing the Explorer and Tahoe side-by-side for special services. They will make a decision in six months

      (Source Seattle-PI)

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    As high speed pursuits become increasingly frowned upon these track tests become increasingly irrelevant. The purchasing decisions are more likely going to be made by municipal purchasing depts looking at an entirely different set of figures.

    Unless GM configures the PPV into an all-around fleet vehicle (meaning a taxi/livery and possibly a limo) to compete with the Panther, I can’t see them importing enough to hit a volume that’s both price-competitive AND profitable.

    • 0 avatar
      outback_ute

      With the exchange rate changes since the PPV program commenced it is hard to see it being very profitable in any case, just look at the higher price of the Caprice PPV.

    • 0 avatar
      twinsonic

      I beg to differ on the comment that the track tests are become increasingly irrelevant – A car manufacturer can claim that their car is a police package car – fine – Prove it. Thats when the MSP, Los Angeles County Sheriff, and California Highway Patrol tests the cars to the point of failure. Example: Dodge Magnum AHB wagon with the Hemi tests the first time in Gratten – A straightaway that the Magnum hit close to 100 mph, then a sharp right turn at approximately 30 to 40 mph. Trooper testing the Magnum steps on the brakes, something gives and the vehicle doesn’t slows down enough to make the curve. Trooper yells “OH S**T!!!! in the headphone MIC and proceeds to plow through the tire wall, up the dirt berm, flies through the air, over the fence bordering the property and lands upside down in a ditch next to the access road next to the entrance of Gratten Raceway. A indepth investigation found that the brake bracket was faulty and was corrected by the Chrysler Corperation. Testing like this shows the problem than rather out in public. Or brake testing so severe that a normal passenger car would fail. Pursuits may be curtailed but it will not be eliminated entirely. The 0 to 100 mph is the most important for State and County – why? speeders. If you are parked on a median and you clock a speeder doing 105 mph, you have to accelerate to 115 mph to catch the speeder within a certain amount of time and less than 5 miles from when you clocked the offender. Any more time and road will increase the chances of a accident. That is why MSP require 0-60mph at 9.6 seconds or less, 0-80mph at 16.4 or less, 0-100mph at 27.1 or less, as a requirement. Anything more will be a FAIL.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      The primary performance stat for police departments looking for patrol duty units is 0 to 100 acceleration. They generally don’t purchase cruisers on the idea that they will be doing 150 MPH chases. Thirty years ago the top speed of the Crown Vic was about 110 MPH and most cars easily outclassed the average cruiser – that gap doesn’t exist today. So even in an era of, “we’re in pursuit,” the speeds weren’t that crazy for the most part. For example, for highway pursuit in the late 80′s and early 90′s V8 powered Mustang LX’s were the car choice for states like Texas for their sheer 0 to 100 acceleration and straight line acceleration. States like Connecticut went with Mazda MX-6 turbos because the wet weather behavior of the Mustang was well known, and horrific.

      The modern police cruiser needs to be large. Officers today carry a lot of equipment far beyond themselves and a service piece. Radios, computers, speed measuring equipment, FLIR, gun racks with weapons, room for suspects plush accommodation for a divider, and basic rescue and accident management equipment in the trunk. Smaller cars won’t cut it – and the current generation of law enforcement decision makers will continue to gravitate to larger vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        During the late 1980′s I was a member of the Florida Highway Patrol Auxiliary and the Troopers I knew loved the Special Service Mustang for exactly the reason you state. The Mustang had a top speed of around 135 mph which was better than a Crown Vic or Caprice, but what really set it apart was its acceleration which allowed the Troopers to catch and stop violators much quicker than they could in a full-size patrol car.

        Given a choice between the Crown Vic and the Caprice, most of the Troopers I knew prefered the Caprice. By the late 1980′s Chevy was putting the Corvette engines in the 9C1 Caprice. While these cars were not as fast as the Mustang, they did make the Crown Vics look like dogs. The upgraded Caprice is really what spelled the end for specialized pursuit vehicles like the Special Service Mustang and the B4C Camaro.

  • avatar
    CC_Stadt

    Any data available as to which one of these comes out on top with respect to overall repair/maintenance cost?

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      The Tahoe police package by virtue of it’s BOF-ness.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        I’m thinking cop-spec Transit Connects are the next big thing, personally.

        (but yes, the Tahoe is the d/none of the above answer)

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Maybe. But the extra size and wieght means the Tahoe will likely go through tires and brakes faster, and those parts will likely be more expensive. And of course, they absolutely SUCK gas. From a TCO standpoint, I have to think the Chevy Impala cop cars are the champ. Tons of them here in Maine. Cheap to buy, cheap enough to maintain, decent gas mileage, more than fast enough and big enough even for the largest donut munchers.

        High speed pursuits are severely frowned upon here. The Chief of Police in my hometown issued a speeding ticket to a State Cop that chased a suspect off I-95 through the town. Dismissed in court, but he was making a point.

      • 0 avatar
        Bryce

        The tahoe is a crap heap

      • 0 avatar
        Patrickj

        @Krhodes
        RWD vehicles are rapidly becoming unfamiliar to new recruits to police work, especially in urban areas where pickups are uncommon. I suspect this may result in higher accident rates.

        My guess is that urban police forces will go for FWD vehicles, especially where it snows.

      • 0 avatar
        fiasco

        My town has gone to Tahoes for its two police vehicles. With mostly dirt roads, snowy winters, and lots of hills, it makes sense. According to the local police, the Tahoes get the same mileage as the Crown Victorias do.

        Oh, and a friend of mine who is a police officer has this comment on the Charger: “Zero to snowbank in less than six seconds!” :)

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Lower overall cost than the Charger has made them popular around here with the depts that had switched to Chargers, missed the boat to order any more CVs and couldn’t wait for the Caprice.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        @Patrickj

        Doesn’t matter if the current batch of recruits have only a rode a bike before showing up. The high speed, pursuit, and performance driving training they receive is almost all done in RWD architecture. LE still has a strong preference for RWD because of the training they receive as recruits.

  • avatar
    Joe McKinney

    I photograph police cars as a hobby, so I get to see what a lot of departments are using. In the process I also talk to lots of officers about the cars they drive. They do not mind telling you what they think of the different vehicles they have used and this can be very informative.

    GM, Ford and Chrysler have been marketing fwd police cars off and on since the 1980′s and none have ever sold as well as the rwd competiton. The Impala has enjoyed some success, though from what I have observed, it is not as popular now as it was in the early to mid-2000′s. If history is any indicator, I expect sales of the new Ford Interceptor to be handicapped by its fwd/awd layout.

    The Charger has been around long enough to establish a reputation, which is both good and bad. State Troopers and rural police and sheriff’s departments love the Charger’s speed. On the downside the Charger is often criticized for being less reliable and durable than the Crown Vic. It also gets low marks for its cramped rear seat, small trunk, and poor outward visibility.

    The new Caprice is an unknown. Innitial reviews are good, but at this point it is still in the testing phase until it has been in use long enough to establish a track record.

    • 0 avatar
      Morea

      Being a car-guy I enjoy taking to officers about their cars (and bikes). The thing that comes up most often: trunk space.

    • 0 avatar
      87CE 95PV Type Я

      Did you know Idaho Springs, CO still has a 1994 Caprice 9C1?

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        I would not be surprised if there are still some 1990′s Caprices in police service. It has been over a year since I last saw one of these, but I’m sure they are still out there.

        I still see the 1990′s Crown Vics in police use from time to time. I suspect these have remained in use longer than the Caprice because they have a lot of parts commonality with the newer Crown Vics.

        Here is a nice 1995-97 Crown Vic I recently photographed in Brooksville, Mississippi.
        http://www.flickr.com/photos/8490341@N04/6141266952/

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Shouldn’t all unmarked police cars really be Accords and Camrys for their ‘stealth-ness’ ? I vote for the Charger since these cars will have dedicated service people so reliability isn’t an issue. It’s easy to wash donut and coffee stains off hard plastics too.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Where I grew up the perfect stealth cop car would have been a GM A-body cause they were so numerous. (FYI my little city (Gallup, NM) has an undercover Buick Century but it’s an end of production W-body model.)

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        Dan, from 1984-86 Chevy built a police package Celebrity. Around the same time Chrysler made a police K-Car. Neither of these were very good for police work. I recall seeing a few Celebrities at the Tallahassee, Florida PD in the late 1980′s.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Joe, it depends on what kind of police work. The City of New York used a lot of those police K cars and for urban police work (relatively low speeds, traffic enforcement, etc) they served well and were surprisingly durable. Today, Altimas and Impalas fill this role. I can’t imagine any of these small cars working for the highway patrol though.

        As for these three, the Chargers seem to be making the biggest inroads around here. I can’t really think that the Taurus will be a contender for the police market. GM is really dropping the ball by not selling a Chevy civilian model of the G8. Foolish (again)

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Any data available as to which one of these comes out on top with respect to overall repair/maintenance cost?

    After you factor in fuel and what you get for the vehicle after it goes to auction, the Tahoe is the cheapest police vehicle to own.

    That’s from a recent article in Police Fleet Manager.

  • avatar
    Bryce

    Where the Caprice hails from it is not at the top of the GM performance heap there are much faster Holdens available. In that market a Mustang cannot go wheel to wheel with a Falcon using the same engine. If anyone starts racing the Chrysler in showroom class against the Aussie cars we may see if its quick, untill then its just an also ran

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      The Mustang weighs 500 lbs less than the Falcon and the naturally aspirated Mustang GT 5.0 is faster than the supercharged Falcon GT 5.0. More importantly, the Mustang costs us less than half what the Australians have to pay for the overweight Falcon GT. $71k for a Ford taxicab? Laughable.

      • 0 avatar
        outback_ute

        A straight numbers comparison is misleading, testing methodologies and track surfaces used vary. Also tax structures and market forces are hugely different from the US, just look at the cost of a BMW 135i coupe – $39k base in the USA, $83.5k in Australia (which is an on-road price). Apart from anything there is a luxury car tax that adds thousands to the price of a Falcon GT.

        Also Falcon GT’s are not used as police cars anyway, lesser models are used. They are lighter than the Tauruses and Caprices, no surprise the Mustang is lighter as it is a smaller vehicle.

        With some LHD-specific bits and dropping in the Mustang GT powertrain (no need for a blower) the Falcon could be a very good police car for the US as it is here.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Wow, 150+ mph top speed! That’ll outrun most cars on the road today (barring the sports cars and high performance cars of course, but they’re relatively few in number. Of course drivers of those sports cars and high-performance cars are the ones likely to try to outrun cops… Are these top speed with light bars or without?

    • 0 avatar
      twinsonic

      The cars tested were “clean”, no lightbar or roof/A-pillar spotlights. With the lightbar mounted, a drop of 3 to 8 mph would be noted. The A-pillar Unity spotlight would take 1 1/2 mph drop for one or 3 mph for drivers’ and passenger side.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    All over the world police departments use smallish (by US standards) FWD sedans for police work. Hard to see why our cops have to remain stuck in the ’60s.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Shoot it took till the early 90s to get most departments to accept fuel injection widely. It will likely take another decade to get them to accept FWD.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      State police patrols are driving a lot of BMW 5-series wagons here in Switzerland. No idea which engine though.

      Swiss eq. of USA’s Immigration, Grenzwache, seem to favor Volvo V70 wagons.

      Germans mix it up among multiple OEMs, but seem to favor Passat wagons.

    • 0 avatar
      MrWhopee

      Because our cops love donuts? They won’t even fit in the small cars those furrin’ cops drive!

    • 0 avatar
      spreadsheet monkey

      Here in England, the BMW 535d is the most popular choice for motorway patrol cars. Some counties use the Jaguar XF – not sure whether they will prove durable enough. Acceptance by the police forces is still something of a badge of honour here, and manufacturers are happy to supply cars at very low prices (40% discount?), in return for the “prestige” of being seen as the choice of the police force.

  • avatar
    AJ

    I struck up a conversation with a state patrol officer last weekend who had a brand new shinny Charger. Cool car! I told him that I wouldn’t want see him in my rear view mirror and he got a big grin on his face. He said it was really fast.

  • avatar
    PaulVincent

    I’d love to know what police in states having four season weather think of AWD vs RWD. Certainly that has to be an important factor in selection for such states.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    We have Tahoes galore around here. Seems to be the copcar dejour aside from the Impala. I’m certainly glad that the unmarked Intrepid seems to have bit the dust. Talk about stealth!

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Los Lunas, NM still has an unmarked late 90s Intrepid in their fleet. But it stands out (to me an enthusiast) because it’s the cleanest white Intrepid you’ll ever see and the windows are tinted limo dark – once you see that it’s not hard to notice the government plate.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    What happened to Carbon Motors, supposedly producing a clean sheet law enforcement vehicle. It was to have been a diesel as I recall.

  • avatar
    OhMyGoat

    Don’t know how long they’ve had them, but a couple days ago I noticed a Dodge Charger in California Highway Patrol livery for the first time (Hwy 80 on the way to work in Sacramento).

  • avatar
    nrd515

    Most of the local departments are going to Chargers, and my cop friends seem to like them ok, and they are holding up well to the abuse they get. Almost all of them, until recently, were the 3.5L V6 type, with a few hemis thrown in. The 3.6L newer V6′s are the “prize” of most of the fleets. The Hemi cars seem to wind up with officers for some reason.

  • avatar

    I say we put all law enforcement on bicycles and force them to patrol their own neighborhoods and shopping malls. This will greatly increase response times, greatly reduce tax dollar expenditures on vehicles, fuel, and repairs, and greatly reduce health car costs for overweight retirees still drawing a paycheck.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      It would probably reduce crime, too. Police work lost something when the neighbourhood beat cop was replaced with laptops and Crown Vics. From crime prevention to crime processing.

  • avatar
    don1967

    The popularity of the Crown Vic all these years proves that few police departments give a damn about 0-60 or lap times. These are fleet buyers; interested primarily in low cost of operation, space for equipment, etc.

    High-speed pursuits are more TV fluff than anything; they might account for a fraction of a percent of real police work. And when they do come up, the best pursuit vehicle by far is a Motorola.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      The police want a mule, not a race horse. The Crown Vic isn’t the fastest or prettiest car on the road, but it has a lot of other virtues that have made it a favorite of the police.

      This may also explain the growing popularity of the Tahoe PPV in recent years. It’s not the fastest or prettiest either, but it shares a lot of the Crown Vic’s virtues.

      • 0 avatar
        87CE 95PV Type Я

        Still working out the reply system, but thanks for the photo stream which I am really enjoying.

        Thanks for the info about Caprices vs Vics and I now I am wondering if there are any boxy Vics or Caprices still in police service? What surprised me was Idaho Springs told me they had gotten rid of their Intrepids and Chargers, but kept the Caprice which really surprised me. I really really like Caprices and I would like to do a road trip next year so it would be neat to find some more of them still in service. So, you are from MS? I would like to get back their someday, I did some Hurricane Katrina related repair work in Bay Saint Louis for a few weeks a few years back.

        Looks like I might have to create a Flicker Account since I really like your photos. Being from New York is partially why I really like this photo.

        http://www.flickr.com/photos/8490341@N04/6177388591/in/photostream

      • 0 avatar
        Joe McKinney

        Glad you like the photos.

        I am originally from Florida and currently live in Alabama about 15 miles from the Mississippi state line. The nearest city is Meridian, MS which is about 35 miles away.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    “The police want a mule, not a race horse.” True. When Chrysler Corporation came out with a police package for Darts and Valiants in 1976 it only lasted the one year. The city of Bellevue (WA) bought a Dodge Dart to use for high-speed work on the two interstate highways that pass through there, but it was relegated to K-9 duty after a year or two, and off the force not long after that. (I ended up with it after several more owners.) I suspect that most departments needed the room inside that the full-size cars offered. There was certainly no lack of performance in the Dart; with its 360 engine with factory dual exhausts minus catalysts, 727 Torqueflite, rear swaybar, larger front swaybar, and larger wheels and tires, it was quite competitive on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      twinsonic

      The Seattle PD used 4door Darts in the early 70′s due to gas economy, and lower maintenance costs. Came with the 318 V/8 2bbl engine and found out that the accident rate dropped considerably because the Dart was far more manuverable in traffic than the full sizes squads of that time (Fury/Polara) or midsize (Satellite/Coronet) Unfortunately, the Darts used in police work were civilian cars that would fall apart if abused severely. This was before Chevrolet came out with the Nova 9C1 police package back in 1974/75. Even the A38 police package Valiant/Darts had problems with the torsion bars unwinding when abused severely and water leaking into the electrical system on the firewall when the hood was up or down. Chrysler should have done its homework earlier and shut out Chevrolet in the police compact class, but didn’t. Chrysler could have gotten close to 90% of police car business.

  • avatar
    86er

    I spoke to a local police officer at a car show earlier this month, and he noted that the Caprice PPV has stuck to a console shift!

    They sawed some of the centre console away to make some room for police equipment like the laptop, but this reeks to me of GM merely keeping the Holden Commodore plant going in Australia, and not a long-term commitment to the police market in North America.

  • avatar

    I knew a guy who worked in purchasing for the city police department and the feedback from the cops was they loved the Crown Vic but not so hot on the Charger mainly due to trunk space and interior room.
    That was a couple of years ago so perhaps the upgraded model has improved on that.
    IIRC the Charger was a lot cheaper then the Ford product which is always a factor in municipal purchasing decisions, and with the death of the Crown Vic It’ll be intersecting to see what car they go for.

  • avatar
    alan996

    As a couple who have logged 64 years between us pushing police vehicles around a very large, very congested Older Northern city my wife and I will throw our two cents in.

    Interior room matters some reasonable comfort matters: 95% of the 5 to eight hours a day spent in the car along with computer terminals, report books, guns, safety transport shields winter coats, the larger the interior the better.

    Top speed matters little in cities like NYC, Chicago, Cleveland, acceleration in a quarter to half mile helps though. The quicker the steering the better, the tighter the turning radius the better. The lower the belt line for visibility the better. Standardizing on a make and model is good, you always know where the front and rear bumpers are with out having to pause and look. (Won’t even start on 6 cylinders with no air and no power steering in the 60′s and early 70′s)

    Front wheel drive in rain and snow is good for the operators but hell on repair budgets. You can crack a light pole with a rear wheel, fix the damage if not too bad (shocks, radiator, maybe struts and tie rod (showing my age) ends, weld a motor mount, and replace sheet metal and have the vehicle operating for a few thousand. Do it it a front wheel and the engine cradle and trans is lying on the pavement, got to buy a new car.

    Three best cars I used:

    1964-65 Fury with slant 6 push button trans, quickest best steering

    Any of the Crown Vics for comfort and reliability

    a 1990 LaSabre seized in a drug raid, combination of comfort and handling not the best at either but the best combined.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    If I were buying for a police department, I would stay away from the Caprice due to concerns over long terms parts costs and support. The Charger and Taurus are going to have a lot better aftermarket parts support than the Caprice will, which in turn will put some damper on the cost of OEM parts.

    The Caprice is likely to be the more expensive vehicle to maintain and repair over the years.

    • 0 avatar
      Bryce

      The caprice is pure Chevrolet mechanicly and has been in use as police cars for many years in Aus/NZ

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Ya, L76 engine parts, Camaro suspension bits, Corvette brake pads, and GM 6-speed automatics are veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery hard to find and oooooooooooooo so expensive.

      The Zeta chassis uses gobs and gobs of off the shelf GM parts that are anything but specialized.

  • avatar

    This weekend, the fuzz was out IN FORCE pulling people over. I was on the Meadowbrook Parkway yesterday letting my SUPERCHARGED 300c SRT8 out the bag and there were two chicks in a V6 Dodge Charger in front of me. She was doing the speed limit when all the sudden, she decides to step on it. She flies by a cop parked behind a blind at about 80 mph and he pulls her over. What’s messed up was, I was maneuvering to actually speed past her when all this happened and if I had had my way, I’d have passed the cop at at least 100 EASY.

    I’m sick and tires of these damned bullsh laws that I can’t do more than 55. That’s nothing more than a money making scam. They could just as easily put up signs saying 40 MPH speed limit on the highways and then I’d have to trade my SRT8 for a HYUNDAI or something slower.

  • avatar
    Speed_3

    Hey Impala, the 80s called and they want their W-body chassis back! But really, the Impala looks terrible next to the Caprice PPV.

  • avatar
    twinsonic

    Here is some numbers to digest – Tahoe top speed – 139mph. Caprice V/6 – 142mph. Impala V/6 149 – 150 mph. Caprice V/8 – 154 – 155 mph.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    A Tahoe running 139 mph is a pretty terrifying idea. The ones sold to the public are governed so aggressively that Tahoe and Suburban drivers probably hit the governor more than drivers of all other cars combined. Does that mean they’re fitting them with V rated tires that last 25,000 miles and cost $1,200 a set?

    • 0 avatar
      twinsonic

      The Tahoe is pursuit capable – lowered suspension, 2 wheel drive with W – speed rated radials. It is upgraded with cooling, electrical, heavy duty transmission and brakes. The tires is Goodyear RS-A Police Radial P265/60R17, W rated. It may weigh 5311 lbs but it can move and handle pretty well for a SUV. I have seen in the past that the Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV) thruout the years and the speed was between 135 to 143 mph.


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  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India