FOLLOWING REPORTS TODAY that the Holden Commodore-based Pontiac G8 might be reborn as a law-enforcement-only vehicle, GM has revealed the 2011 Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV), based on the Holden Statesman.
Announced at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Colorado, the Caprice PPV will be available next year, with patrol use expected to begin in early 2011.
Rather than repurposing the Holden Commodore-based platform of the retired Pontiac G8, GM has built the Caprice PPV on the longer version of the Zeta platform which underpins the Holden Ute and Statesman.
The cars will be built in Australia at Holden's assembly plant in Elizabeth, SA, and could provide a significant increase in the plant's output.
"North American law enforcement fleets account for about 70,000 sales a year so securing a fraction of those sales would be a major manufacturing boost for GM's operations in Australia," said Holden Executive Director Sales and Marketing, John Elsworth.
"Opportunities like this don't come around very often," he said.
"We are working hard to deliver a world class product worthy of serious consideration by the police."
The 2011 Chevrolet Caprice PPV is powered by a 6.0 litre LS2 V8 engine developing 265kW and 520Nm of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
By comparison, Dodge's law enforcement version of the Charger develops 253kW, and the outgoing Ford Crown Victoria produces a significantly tamer 187kW.
GM says the Caprice PPV will reach 60pm (96km/h) in under six seconds.
A V6-powered version is expected in 2012, and will be the same SIDI-equipped 3.6 litre engine used by the 2010 VE Commodore.
At 3001mm, the Caprice's lengthened platform sits right between the Crown Victoria's 2913mm and the Caprice PPV's Dodge opponent, the 3048mm Charger.
?The new Chevrolet Caprice police car is the right tool at the right time for law enforcement,? Jim Campbell, general manager for GM Fleet and Commercial Operations said.
?We asked for a lot of feedback from our police customers, which helped us develop a vehicle that is superior to the Crown Victoria in key areas.?
As a law enforcement vehicle, the Caprice PPV will get a full range of police-specific equipment, along with 18-inch steel wheels and heavy-duty four-wheel independent suspension.
Other police-specific mechanical equipment includes a high-output alternator and engine oil, transmission and power steering coolers.
A "police-calibrated stability control system" will feature in the Caprice PPV's equipment list.
Ensuring the Caprice PPV gives away nothing to the legendary Crown Victoria, the new Chevy police car will offer significantly greater interior space, including an 100mm of leg space in the rear.
Other features include:
- Optional front-seat-only side curtain air bags allows a full-width rear-seat barrier for greater officer safety
- Two trunk-mounted batteries, with one of them dedicated to powering various police equipment
- Designed for five-passenger seating, meaning the upper-center section of the dashboard can be used for equipment mounting without the concern of air bag deployment interference
- Compatibility with in-dash touch-screen computer technology
- Special front seats designed for the long-term comfort of officers whose car is their effective office, including space that accommodates the bulk of a typical equipment belt