LAPD Keeping Us Safe With High-Tech 2012 Caprice PPV

Chevrolet Caprice PPV

Chevrolet Caprice PPV

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In what may be the envy of police departments nationwide, the law enforcement professionals of the LAPD will take to the streets of Los Angeles in an ultra high-tech 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV (which stands for police pursuit vehicle).

The folks at Translogic went for a ride in the all-new pursuit vehicle and they seem genuinely impressed.

The guts of the car – which, by the way, no citizen can buy – is a Chevrolet Caprice that is, itself, based on the Australian Holden, but with a longer wheelbase. That translates to a roomier interior – lots of room for police gear. The Caprice PPV is larger inside than the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (retiring this year), long known for being spacious.

Under the hood of the rear-wheel drive Caprice PPV there’s a 355-horsepower 6.0-liter V-8 engine and plenty of torque – 384 pound-feet.

But as law enforcement officers will tell you, it isn’t a police car’s top speed that’s critical. It’s getting from zero to 60 mph rather quickly for pursuits. Both the Ford Crown Vic and the Caprice are very capable in this regard. The Caprice PPV accomplishes it in under five seconds.

Unique modifications

The new Caprice PPV has some unique modifications that take into account the officers’ needs as well as any back-seat passengers.

What that means is there’s a seat cutout for the officer’s gun. This makes it easier for them to sit more comfortably for long hours in the car. As for passengers being transported in the back, should they be in handcuffs – you guessed it – there’s a cutout space for their hands to rest in while they’re seated as well.

The trunk carries an extra battery along with a high output alternator. Four-wheel disc brakes with heavy-duty pads, police-calibrated stability control, auxiliary engine control and transmission coolers, limited-slip rear differential and 18-inch steel wheels are other features specific to the Caprice PPV.


What’s really to marvel at is the high-tech equipment the pursuit vehicle boasts. The Caprice PPV is equipped with an infrared night vision camera, an automated license plate scanner (called an ALPR) and touch-screen center console, the latter replacing older computers officers have traditionally used.

In three years of using the automated license plate scanner, the LAPD have read 32.5 million license plates. In fact, the scanner reads multiple plates at once, so it’s very efficient and reliable.

Bad in black (and white)

The basic car costs about $20,000. It comes in black – the white visible here is simply vinyl vehicle wrap. The reason for this is very practical. It’s more cost-effective to do vinyl wrapping than painting, less expensive to repair, and nets bigger bucks when a solid black car is sold at auction at end of service than a black-and-white one.

Check out the Translogic video below for an up-close look at the LAPD’s new Caprice PPV. And, if you’re in the Los Angeles area, watch out for one of these in your rear-view mirror. Better yet, move over and let them go about their business protecting and serving.

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