Attention all youths driving civic hatchbacks with loud exhaust! Your days of front wheel drive burnouts and general ricing about may soon be over. The Police are slowly waving goodbye to Crown Victoria Interceptors, which compared to these new tuned models was rather boat-like. Not to strike too much fear into the hearts of the backwards hat wearing neon hooligans, but the car with the least horsepower has 355 intercepting ponies. Most of you probably know that Police cruisers are tuned for more power and upgraded to corner fast and level, however there is a little more than just tuning on some of the new fleet. Two of the cars are custom built models not even available for purchase by the public. Lets take a look at the stats for each current gen cop car, just to give an idea of the kind of performance that will be seen around your local Dunkin’ Donuts.
2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV
When you first look at this car, you may think, “Oh, well it’s just a new FWD Malibu to patrol shopping centers.” Well you would be a little far off, because this car has muscle pedigree. You may have thought that the G8 (GTO) died along with the Pontiac name, but it hasn’t! It lives on underneath the understated Chevy skin, and will now be spending most of its time pulling over Integras for aggressive starts. With the face lift it has the same 6.0 liter V8 engine and 355 hp as the G8 GT sedan. It’s RWD, and can do 0-60 in a quick 5.7 seconds. The suspension is supposed to ride very smooth, especially on rough roads, but tends to roll over its own ankles under heavy cornering. However when compared to the next couple it looses some of its intimidation.
2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit
The Dodge Charger is the most common cruiser I see around town now, only just recently noticing a couple of the Caprice cruisers. It is basically a Charger R/T with a big 5.7L 370 hp Hemi V8. This car has been upgraded with reinforced doors and roof, as well as bigger brakes, and tougher suspension that also allows the Charger to corner flat while speeding down an off-ramp. The party piece of this car is its “stealth mode”, where it turns off all interior lights and has a small red ambiance light that is just bright enough to allow the officers inside to see what they are doing, while they are unseen by the target. That makes me almost want to go to the Police Academy, just so I could say “Activate the stealth mode…” and I would go unseen in the Starbucks parking lot, not that I’m implying officers enjoy doughnuts and coffee more than the average citizen, because that would just be cliche.
Finally, to my favorite of all the Police Interceptors, (never thought I would say that), and this defuses a major argument I’ve heard from STi and GT-R owners for a while now. Every kid that has taken out a ridiculous loan for an AWD street monster and poured every paycheck into modifying it goes on about how the heavy RWD police cars couldn’t keep up with their cars, especially on back roads, as if they would ever try it. Now that argument is over, to the dismay of the Evo owners club! The Ford Police Interceptor is available in a package of AWD with a twin turbo, *ahem*…twin turbo DOHC V6, that produces 365 hp! They have also reinforce the back of the car to take on a 75 mph hit. Now Ford says it is for highway impacts while parked on the shoulder, but perhaps they have j-turns and battering ram situations in mind, so watch out.
Now pardon me while I climb onto my soap box here, but let me ask something. Is this really necessary? I am all for improving the safety of the officers, and that should be top priority! However, developing these new cars with all the performance and technology is expensive, and the cars themselves are expensive! If they are actually in a chase where they need 350+hp, chances are they will take some damage. On average these new cars are about $4,000 more than the old cars, which are also already in circulation. This leads me to two points. One, maybe they have been watching too many Fast and Furious movies, but most people do not make a run for it when being pulled over for speeding and if they do, it isn’t usually in a GT-R or Lexus LFA. Secondly, I’m guessing you have all seen an episode of COPS or those dangerous pursuit shows, and when a felon does decide to run it usually starts in a 90’s Buick, goes to a foot race, then ends with them in the back of a Crown Vic. In the end, there isn’t much trouble with cars outrunning the police, considering how much is made from traffic tickets a year. While the figures are fuzzy and hard to find, it’s estimated $3.7 Billion dollars at the absolute least is made from tickets per year. While these new cars are cool to talk about, they’re a genius solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist. Maybe bullet proof glass is a better idea.