With the venerable Ford Crown Victoria retiring at the end of the year, U.S. police forces are looking to fill the Vic’s admittedly big shoes. Chevy is taking on all competitors by rolling out two big guns: the Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) and the Impala police car.
The Caprice PPV, which went on active duty last month, has already impressed one law enforcement agency. Says Forsyth County, Ga. Sheriff Ted Paxton, “With its emphasis on the ergonomically designed seats for officer comfort, and enhanced safety features, the Caprice is a vehicle that is made for police work.”
Paxton is referring to the Caprice’s custom front seats which had been specifically sculpted to allow space for gun belts, a feature not normally found in regular consumers’ vehicles. Consumers would like the Caprice’s formidable 6.0-liter V-8 generates 355 horsepower and 384 lb-ft torque, and is capable of moving the Caprice PPV from 0-60 mph under six seconds. The Caprice’s rear-wheel drive powertrain is further enhanced by GM’s StabiliTrak stability control, which aids in keeping officers – and the civilians around them – safe during any necessary high speed driving.
While the Caprice PPV is specific to law enforcement, the 2012 Chevy Impala is also on sale to the public. Both the consumer and police models are equipped with a new 3.6-liter V-6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission which can generate up to 302 horsepower. More importantly, fuel economy has jump to 17/27 mpg city/highway, 3 mpg over the prior model. “Because our police customers need to conserve their budgets, we designed the 2012 Chevrolet Impala Police to help reduce fuel costs while standing up to the toughest environments and most demanding situations,” said Dana Hammer, police vehicle manager for GM Fleet and Commercial Operations, in a statement.
Chevrolet has also upgraded the Impala Police models’ braking system and made Goodyear Eagle RS-A all-season tires tires standard. Police models also come equipped with new steering and suspension systems as well. The Chevrolet Impala Police and consumer models are front-wheel drive, a sharp contrast to the Caprice’s rear-wheel-drive architecture.