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Strong acceleration is important, it’s useful when merging onto a crowded expressway or towing a heavy trailer through the mountains. Speed is especially important for police vehicles as it gives law enforcement officers the power to take down bad guys. But who has the fastest cop car?
The Chevy Caprice has been on sale in America for about a year now, but only if you’ve got a badge, and only as a special PPV (Police Patrol Vehicle) model. Or at least that’s what GM is trying to enforce.
Several reports of dealers selling versions of the full-size, V8-powered, rear-wheel drive sedan to the public have surfaced, but until now we’ve never actually heard of someone buying one. That is, until Ohio resident Steve Harbour cam across our radar. No stranger to big rear-drive GM sedans, Harbour currently owns a 1996 Impala SS.
Eager to get his hands on a Caprice, Harbour was turned down by local dealerships in Ohio and had all but given up. A family trip to Washington D.C., however, gave him cause to try once more. As luck would have it, Criswell Chevrolet, just a half hour drive north of the capital in Gaithersburg, Maryland agreed to make a deal. Harbour took the Caprice for a test drive, and can now remember his trip to the capital with a very special souvenir.
The team at GMInsideNews met up with Harbour at a local car show to snap plenty of photos of the rare U.S.-spec Caprice. See all those photos at the link below.
Backing up the last reports from a few months back, General Motors appears ready to bring back the only truly exciting product Pontiac had to offer, the G8. Now with Pontiac dead the car will be badged as a Chevy (likely wearing the Caprice name), but the important part is that it will be based on the rear-drive Holden Commodore platform, just like the G8 was.
The latest rumor comes from the LA Auto Show, where a senior engineer told an Australian outlet that the plan to bring back the rear-drive V8-powered sedan was under consideration for the retail market. It should be noted that currently GM offers the long wheelbase Holden Commodore-based Chevy Caprice as a Police-only vehicle in the U.S.
An unnamed source then reportedly commented that the car has been approved by GM’s product planning folks.
With the platform already sold here in the past, federalizing the car wouldn’t be difficult either. Now wouldn’t a V8-powered 6-speed manual Chevy Caprice performance sedan be just the perfect car for the upcoming Detroit Auto Show?
We recently reported on rumors that Chevrolet is planning to bring back the Caprice full-sized sedan, based on the RWD Holden Statesman. This, however, is being denied by the folks at Holden, with Emily Perry, the Australian automaker’s communications director, commenting that “We have no plans to export that vehicle as a civilian car at this stage.”
GM had already announced a police interceptor based on the Statesman and sold as a Caprice to police agencies in North America, and recently even added the Caprice PPV (Police Patrol Vehicle) Detective Package to the list.
Interestingly, Perry wasn’t as unequivocal when it came to the question of the Commodore returning to the U.S. (sold in North America as the Pontiac G8 from 2008-09). Former Holden marketing director Mark Reuss had commented in the past that the company was looking for ways to salvage something from the G8 program and it has been suggested that GM may be looking to build a small prestige brand of RWD cars within the larger Chevy brand, much like what Hyundai has done with the Genesis.
The entire return of the G8/Commodore seems extremely unlikely however, with an all new platform due out in 2012, meaning that GM would have to act soon in bringing a rear-drive Holden back to the U.S., before the architecture becomes obsolete.
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: