The Big Three Plan For Life After The Crown Vic Police Interceptor Page 4

On to General Motors' offering, the recently introduced Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle. Just like the Chevy Camaro, the PPV is built on GM's rear-wheel-drive Zeta platform. Just like the Pontiac El Camino G8 ST, the PPV uses the longest version of the Zeta platform available the one with the 118.5-inch wheelbase. So, compared to its police-use competition, the PPV's wheelbase is nearer to the Charger's 120 inches than it is the Taurus's 114. This gives the Caprice PPV 4 inches more rear legroom than the Taurus PI. Coincidentally, at almost 18 cubic feet, its trunk falls short of the PI's 20, although it is considerably more than the Charger PP's 14.8.

Also closer to the Charger is the PPV's engine, a 6.0-liter LS2 V-8. Sadly, power output falls short of both the Charger and the Taurus. At 355 horses, it's pretty strong, but 355 will always be ten less than 365, and fifteen shy of 370. Still, it went from 0-60 in 6.18 seconds, 0-100 in 14.77, and posted a top speed of 148 miles per hour all performance marks that bested the competition. Between the PPV's crankshaft and driveshaft is a six-speed automatic transmission, specially calibrated for police performance. In the tranny's Sport Shift mode, something called Performance Algorithm Liftfoot calibration interprets driving conditions and selects the proper gear and engine torque.

Like the Taurus Police Interceptor and the Charger Police Pursuit, the Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle rides on independent suspension front and rear. Added handling performance comes from its "police-calibrated stability control system." According to results from the Michigan State Police Vehicle Evaluation Program, the PPV got around Grattan Raceway Park in 1:36.44.

The best the Charger PP could do was 1:37.12. Times for the Taurus Police Interceptor were not available, since the Michigan State Police chose to test the final incarnation of the Crown Vic. Probably out of habit, but it also could have been from respect for all those years of dedicated service. So we'll go ahead and remove the quotation marks from police-calibrated stability control system.

In the end, which car is going to be the one that most often strikes fear into our hearts when we see it in our rear-view mirrors? Hard to say. Ford's Taurus Police Interceptor is intriguing it has a big trunk, a powerful motor, and the precise handling of a well-tuned all-wheel-drive system. If only that motor were a V-8. The Dodge Charger Police Pursuit is just plain badass. It is, after all, a Charger R/T wearing an official law enforcement uniform. 'Nuff said.

But the Chevy Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle appears to be the clear choice. It accelerates quickest and has the highest top speed. It beat the other contenders around a racetrack. There's lots of room in the trunk for riot gear and fingerprinting kits. Rear-wheel drive and a V-8 means chases will still look and sound right. And the most conclusive evidence that the PPV is the car a police force would choose if it were a family? Any sixteen-year-old kid would be darned happy if Mom or Dad brought one home.

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