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Until recently the traditional choice for police cars was very simple: almost always a Ford Crown Victoria P71 Police Interceptor, but with the legendary cop cruiser out of production, forces across the country have had to turn elsewhere, diversifying the pack.
After serving for more than 30 years, the Ford Crown Victoria has established a sterling reputation as the police car of choice. Ford is ending production of the Crown Vic Police Interceptor at the company’s St. Thomas, Ontario, factory and despite stopping sales of Crown Vics to consumers in 2008, Ford continues to make them available to fleets.
Sales to law enforcement agencies have been increasing as Ford prepares to launch new police vehicles based on the Taurus and Explorer. Through the first seven months of the year, Crown Vic sales are up 64 percent to 35,203 units. The Crown Vic enjoyed widespread success due to its two bench, six passenger seating layout and gearshift mounted on the steering column. The vehicle was introduced in 1983 and was the top choice of law enforcement in 1996-2010. The Crown Vic’s death was further pushed by the federal government requiring automakers to boost their average fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 and to 54 mpg by 2025. The Crown Vic’s 16 mpg city mileage is not very appealing, nor efficient.
Currently, the Crown Vic makes up about 70 percent of the police vehicle market, but Ford’s new offerings aren’t being warmly received by police departments. One officer told the Detroit Free Press that he was stocking up on Crown Vic’s, as the new Ford offerings were inadequate for their needs. The officer stated that the Dodge Charger and Chevrolet Caprice were being looked at, something Ford does not want to happen.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
Miss the Pontiac G8? Hate getting stuck in traffic? Or if you’re like me, do you have an unnecessary Blues Brothers fixation? (“Fix the cigarette lighter.”) Well, has a Maryland Chevrolet dealer got a deal for you!
You gotta get the luck of the draw, however. A Maryland dealer is eschewing GM’s rules and selling the Chevrolet Caprice to civilians—but just 13 of them. The Caprice was Chevrolet’s continuation of the Holden Commodore, the Australian-built sedan that was last seen here as the Pontiac G8. It’s sold to police departments as a squad car only, but there’s no formal regulations in place to prevent this dealer from selling them to the general public.
The 13 cars are detective’s models, which means that they feature such conveniences as chromatic paint colors and alloy wheels, and the dealer has added power windows and seats. They are listing for anywhere between $31,000 to $37,000—and for Chevrolet’s only rear-drive, V8 sedan in production, it’s not too bad.
The cars are all US-certified and meet emissions and safety standards. If other Chevrolet dealers pay attention, maybe those 13 buyers won’t be the only ones in America with cop cars—and maybe it’ll motivate GM to release the Caprice for the civilian market in general.
Rumors of Holden vehicles, specifically the rear-drive Commodore, coming to the U.S. have always been a fixture of the automotive media, and with the Holden-based Pontiac G8′s demise a few years ago, some of them have seemed to be more wishful thinking than anything of substance.
General Motors is bringing back the larger Holden Statesman as a fleet-only Chevrolet Caprice, but that hasn’t stopped some suspiciously civilian-looking examples from popping up, including the one spied by an Edmunds Inside Line staffer, which is totally devoid of any police-style accouterments.
We’ve seen other shots that suggest that this is what the unmarked versions of the Caprice will look like, but we can still hold out hope that it’s also the basis for something much better, and available to the general public.
[Source: Inside Line]
During our drive of the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, we chatted with one engineer about GM’s Zeta platform, which underpins rear-drive full size cars. Among remarking how much we adored the Pontiac G8 sedan and how we longed for a revival of the car, the engineer broke into a broad grin and said “well, these things have a way of happening.”
Cut to Saturday, where GM’s Mark Reuss announced the debut of a vehicle based on the Camaro platform at the Chicago Auto Show. The only other car built on the platform is the Holden Commodore, which formerly underpinned the G8 and is the basis for the Chevrolet Caprice PPV, a model only sold to law enforcement agencies for police duty.
In recent weeks, photos of the Caprice have emerged that show it looking very ready for civilian duty (seen above). Gone are the steel wheels, push bars and flashing lights, and to the untrained eye, the car could be any other full-size American sedan.
There’s a strong chance the car will be a new variant of the Caprice, although a high-performance Camaro Z28 is also rumored to bow in Chicago. With Chrysler’s new 300 sedan (and Dodge’s Charger) being the only rear drive full size car on the market (and receiving rave reviews), Chevrolet will certainly want to capitalize on this and smash the 300′s monopoly. The only question is whether the vehicle will be the long-wheelbase police version (based on the Holden Statesman) or the standard length Commodore based car that was previously given to Pontiac as the G8. Engine choices will likely be the familiar 3.6L V6 making 300 horsepower or more, and a small-block V8 of indeterminate output.
[Source: Detroit News]
See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 Chicago Auto Show Preview here, with coverage starting Wednesday, February 9th.
While the Chevrolet Caprice is reserved for police vehicle fleets only, there have been some rumors about a civilian version making its way to showrooms for public consumption, and the latest videos showing footage of a police evaluation event only seem to further that.
Previous shots of the Caprice have either shown it in full police livery, or an “unmarked” version which ditched the lightbar and graphics but still retained the steel wheels and blacked out grilles. But the Caprices used in the latest video look like they could be sold to customers, if not for the small flashing lights hidden in the front fascia. Otherwise, the alloy wheels and interior devoid of any police equipment look pretty production ready. If it’s any consolation, we pressed one GM engineer at the Camaro Convertible launch about such a vehicle, and he answered with a wry smile, stating “these things have a way of happening”.
Video after the jump
General Motors is hoping that their next Chevrolet Impala, due in 2014, will be looked at as more than just fodder for the rental car lot. With a new platform shared with the Buick Lacrosse, the next Impala, due in 2014, should represent a significant jump in both style and performance – although based on the current car, that’s not saying too much.
The report in Automotive News also points to a possible rear-drive performance sedan for Chevrolet, which would almost certainly be based on the rear-drive Holden Commodore platform. The car would also be slated for a 2014 release, and one Chevrolet insider told Automotive News that “we are going back to the essence of what Chevrolet was and stood for — well-designed, beautiful, sculptured pieces, with lots of customer value.” Chevrolet is selling a Holden model to police fleets as the Chevrolet Caprice, but sales to the public are not planned at this time.
[Source: Automotive News]
Chevrolet‘s fleet-only Caprice will likely be sold to the General Public after a tide of interest forced General Motors to re-consider their plans to restrict sales to fleets.
The Caprice is essentially a stretched version of the Pontiac G8, a rear-drive, V8 powered large sedan based off the much-lauded, Australian market Holden Commodore. The G8 was beloved by enthusiasts but tepidly received by the public. The G8 lasted only two model years before the Pontiac brand was killed by General Motors.
According to a report from Carenvy.ca, a “very reliable source” confirmed that the car will be sold in dealerships, but gave no details as to trim levels or how the vehicle would be positioned. After contact Car Envy’s Peter Dushenski, we’re inclined to believe the information as true. The new Caprice nameplate has a ton of cachet among a few demographics, as boomers remember the car from their youth, and young people associate the car with hip-hop music, lowriders and “donks”. The prospect of a Corvette derived small-block V8 is also enticing.
General Motors also revealed their first pictures of the “Detective Package” Caprice, which should give some major clues as to how the civilian version will look if it comes to market. A Caprice sold to the public will likely have an upgraded interior compared to the G8 and the workhorse versions, and don’t be surprised to see a V6 version as well.
At the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police convention being held in Denver, Colorado, General Motors unveiled an all-new police cruiser, resurrecting the Chevrolet Caprice name. The General was rumored to be working on a police cruiser based on the Australian Holden Commodore (formerly rebadged and sold as the Pontiac G8 in North America). This is not that car.
Due to the need for more passenger and cargo room, this new vehicle, called the Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) is based on a different (and larger Australian car) sold as the Holden Caprice/Statesman in its native land. The same rear-drive architecture is also used for the Chevy Camaro.
The car is large, with more interior space than a Ford Crown Vic and almost 4-inches more legroom in the rear seats – so you’ll be in for a comfortable ride after your botched attempt to rob the 7/11. There’s also more room up front and special seats were designed to keep officers comfortable over long periods of time. Because the Caprice isn’t based on any current road going vehicle in North America, the vehicle was purpose built with plenty of input from law enforcement agencies. They even went so far as to use materials that will hold up better to more rigorous use.
Best of all, the car will come with a 6.0-liter V8 rated at 355hp and 384 ft-bs of torque. So watch out street racers, because this new cruiser can hit 60 mph in less than six seconds. A V6 engine will also be offered in the future.
“The new Chevrolet Caprice police car is the right tool at the right time for law enforcement,” said Jim Campbell, general manager for GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. “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.”
GM will begin selling the Chevrolet Caprice PPV in 2011, exclusively to law enforcement agencies.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Caprice PPV
Official release after the jump: