Why Did Chevrolet Discontinue the Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle?
It’s a big deal for an automaker to make police cars. The cars need to be fast, able to take a few hits, and out maneuver anything on the road. For years, Chevrolet had the market cornered on police cars, but that changed in 2017.
According to GM Authority, the Chevrolet Caprice PPV was discontinued, and it doesn’t appear it’ll be back any time soon. So what happened, and which automaker makes police cars now? Here’s what we found out.
The Chevrolet Caprice PPV
For years, Chevy produced the Caprice PPV for police departments in the U.S. and Canada. According to the Chevrolet Pressroom, the 2015 model, which was one of the last to be produced, checked off all the boxes a policeman would need.
It had a standard 3.6L V-6 engine that was rated at 301 hp. A more powerful engine was available that was a 6.0L V-8, which was rated at 355 hp.
The V-8 engine could go from 0 to 60 in under six seconds. That’s not terribly fast, however, considering there are some vehicles on the road that can do so in under three seconds. Given the fact that police may find themselves in a high speed chase, that wasn’t exactly adequate.
GM did put a lot of thought into the Caprice, however. The front seats were designed with comfort in mind for officers that spend most of their time behind the wheel. The designers even took into consideration an officer’s equipment belt, which can become very uncomfortable.
Other features on the Caprice included Bluetooth for phone and cell phone connectivity to audio system, voice recognition, music navigator, and streaming audio.
Where have all the Caprice PPVs gone?
The Caprice reigned supreme with police departments for several years. In fact, there were four generations of the Caprice, as departments turned to GM for their fleet needs. Then in 1996, GM discontinued the Caprice.
In 2009, GM decided to get back in the game, and came out with the Caprice PPV. Things were going well, and sales seemed to be good. Then in 2017, the GM-Holden Elizabeth plant that produced the vehicle was shut down.
It’s unclear why GM never transferred production of the Caprice PPV to another plant, but so far, that hasn’t happened. It also doesn’t appear that GM will bring the Caprice back anytime soon.
Long live the Dodge
Once GM left the playing field, Dodge was only too happy to step in and pick up where they left off. Dodge filled the void left by the Caprice by introducing police departments to special models of the Charger Pursuit and the Durango Pursuit.
The Charger Pursuit was an instant hit with its slick features, and more modern tech. The 2020 model comes with either a V-6 engine with all-wheel drive or a V-8 Hemi with rear-drive. Both are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. It can reach speeds of 140 mph, making it one of the fastest vehicles on the road.
The Durango Pursuit is pretty spectacular as well. According to MotorTrend, since many departments use SUVs to transport their police dogs, Dodge included a tri-zone air conditioning.
It comes with a standard 3.6-liter Pentastar or optional 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 engine. Both are paired with a TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission. The top speed is 130 mph, making it almost as fast as the Charger Pursuit.
Dodge isn’t the only automaker trying to cozy up with police departments, however. Currently, the most popular police car is the Ford Explorer.
Chevy might be ready to get back in the game with the new Chevy Tahoe police SUV. Whether it can take back some of the ground it lost when it discontinued the Caprice is unclear, but Chevy is definitely trying.