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The police departments in the United States drive everything from Ford Explorers to the odd Chevrolet Camaro muscle car. However, one of the most sinister units in America’s fleets is the Dodge Charger, a four-door sedan with a mean fascia. Moreover, the police Charger often packs a 5.7L V8 engine. However, do cops drive the V6 Dodge Charger, too? 

Are police Chargers V8?

While some police departments opt for the 5.7L Hemi V8 and its 370 horsepower, many departments are opting for the 3.6L Pentastar V6 mill instead. Of course, the V8 produces more power than the V6; the Pentastar produces 300 horsepower with its all-wheel drive (AWD) system. 

The Dodge Charger police units prove that cops can use V6 Chargers and V8 Chargers.
Dodge Charger Pursuit | Stellantis

While that might seem counterintuitive for police officers with the potential to engage in high-speed pursuits, the Dodge Charger platform with a V6 has its advantages. In addition to increased fuel economy, the V6 is cheaper to produce and replace than the more expensive V8. 

Why do the police use V6 Dodge Chargers?

Police departments opt for the Dodge Charger because it’s a product of an American marque, with a four-door sedan construction and a library of options. For instance, the Pentastar V6 Dodge Chargers offer optional AWD. In fact, the new Dodge Charger Pursuit offers either a V6 with AWD or a 5.7L V8 option with rear-wheel drive (RWD). 

Beyond engine options, America’s cops chose V6 and V8 Dodge Chargers because Stellantis outfits them for heavy duty. For instance, Stellantis says the new Dodge Charger Pursuit packs a steel safety frame and ballistic door paneling to protect occupants.     

Can you buy a V6 Dodge Charger for yourself?

If you’re not a police officer, you can, of course, get yourself a V8 or V6 Dodge Charger. The 2023 Dodge Charger SXT with a Pentastar V6 costs around $34,240. However, potential owners who want a V8-powered Charger will have to contend with the Dodge Charger R/T’s starting price point of around $43,980. 

Of course, used Dodge Charger models with V6s and V8s and plentiful in the used car market. Better yet, police departments have a practice of selling off police cars once they grow too old.  

Can you buy a police car in America? 

It is illegal to impersonate an emergency vehicle in the United States of America. That said, it is perfectly legal to buy a vehicle at auction following its service life with a police department, fire department, or the U.S. Military. Many car enthusiasts buy Ford Crown Victorias with Interceptor mills to enjoy everything from cruises to slide-happy shenanigans. That kind of power is courtesy of powerplants like the 4.6L V8, which produced 238 ponies.

The police Charger is a bona fide cop car with V6 Dodge Charger and V8 Charger options to offer.
Dodge Charger Pursuit | Stellantis

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While that might seem like a far cry from the 5.7L Hemi V8’s 370 horsepower, it was still enough to make the Crown Victoria Interceptor a sought-after option for bargain hunters. Should you want a decommissioned police car with a V6 or V8, the Dodge Charger might be the cop car for you. Of course, all potential owners should know that service vehicles live a hard life and may require serious repairs.