Despite the controversy that can surround law enforcement, the truth is that the equipment put to use in the field can yield some “ooh’s” and “aah’s,” especially the cars. Anyone who is a fan of the Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit games would know what I’m on about. And as pedestrian as the Ford Crown Victorias, Chevrolet Impalas and Dodge Chargers can be, if decked out in the right livery can look flat out badass. Though the current cars employed in law enforcement fleets are aging and as a result, Ford and Chevrolet are hard at work to make sure law enforcement agencies are well catered for.
This past week, Michigan State Police conducted a series of tests to prove that Ford’s and Chevrolet’s latest law enforcement fleet cars are capable of performing in the field. New law enforcement standards require the cars to be all-wheel drive while being able to deliver durability, performance, handling and fuel economy.
“We are pleased that the performance of the Police Interceptor Utility was validated because it provides more choice for law enforcement agencies,” said Lisa Teed, Ford’s marketing manager for the Police Interceptors. “They can be assured that whether in slippery conditions like snow or in pursuit situations the purpose-built Utility will deliver.”
One notable example was from Ford and that was the Police Interceptor “utility vehicle.” Basically a toughened up Explorer, the Police Interceptor utility vehicle features Ford’s 3.5L twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 and is good for a whopping 365hp and 350lb-ft of torque. It was noted for excelling in 0-60 acceleration, braking, and handling that kept up with the Taurus-based Police Interceptor sedan. Speaking of which, the standard engine in the Police Interceptor sedan is also Ford’s 3.5L EcoBoost V6 but is detuned for 280hp. The 365hp monster is an option.
On the competing GM side, Chevrolet was participating with the Austrailian Holden-based Caprice PPV (yes, that means rear-wheel drive unlike the pussy front-wheel drive Impala’s), an updated Impala PPV (my point stands) and an updated Tahoe PPV.
The highlight was obviously the Caprice PPV. It was noted for meeting and exceeding the requirements of the Michigan State Police.
“When we set out to develop the Caprice PPV, we received critical input from police officers around the nation and they told us they wanted a serious rear-drive performance cruiser,” said James Soo, lead development engineer of the Caprice PPV. “The Caprice has been designed solely for the police officer who depends on performance and technology to get the job done.”
The Caprice is powered by either a 3.6L V6, or a 6.0L V8 (GM’s press release was shy on releasing horsepower figures).
As much as the two automotive giants are competing for the fleet contracts, the test with the Michigan State Police proved to the rest of the world that Ford and Chevrolet will continue to provide for our country’s law enforcement services. Whatever way they go, this serves as a reminder that they’ll be piloting some serious equipment.
That said, if law enforcement agencies get cars like this, imagine the performance bargains to be had when they’re retired and put up for sale at private auctions.
– By: Chris Chin