Attention perps: You'll have a new patrol vehicle roaming the streets come next April. That's the month General Motors says its Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle will finally hit the local precinct. Those models will apparently all be of the detective package variety; Chevy's police package will officially go on sale in June of 2011. Ordering for the detective cars will commence in October of this year, while those officers looking forward to the police package will need to wait until next January to place their orders.
For those unaware, the new Caprice will feature a rather traditional layout, with seating for two officers in the cushy front seats and two less lucky individuals in the rear behind a full-width prisoner partition. Motivation comes from a 355-horsepower 6.0-liter V8 engine sending those ponies to the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
Here's what you need to know about it:
1. It's Not (That) Green
The Caprice will still use a V8 engine -- a pushrod V8, in fact -- showing that at the end the day, officers need power and speed in their line of work more than efficiency. Where other manufacturers (Carbon Motors being one) are offering alternative powerplants such as diesel or smaller engines, GM is going for the traditional route with a V8. The company is looking to win some efficiency by turning off four of those cylinders while crusing (called active fuel management), offering a six-speed transmission, and eventually a smaller V6.
2. Rear-Wheel Drive
Unlike GM's current sedan offering for police work, the Impala, the new Caprice is powered by its rear wheels. This ends up being a useful trait for the really engaging police driving, the kind you see in movies where the tail is hanging out while the bad guys are trying to escape through the alley.
3. It's Fast
At 355 horsepower, the Caprice will be the fastest police car in America -- at least until Ford's Taurus goes on sale (its 365 horsepower twin-turbo V6 will have the edge on the Chevy). While GM won't give out 0-60 times, you can be sure that the Caprice will be fast. In other words: don't think you've got something faster.
We already knew what to expect for the standard police-spec Caprice, but we've been extra curious about the special "Detective package" that adds some plainclothes stealthiness to the Caprice, especially as it seems to hint at what the oft-rumored civilian version of this car might look like. It's available in seven different colors (we'll just stick with black, thanks), uses all the same mechanical underpinnings as the standard Police PPV.
For the moment at least, this Caprice remains unavailable in a retail model for John Q. Public. But insiders have heard that a version for the public could go on sale in 2012 as a 2013 model year. Until then, get used to the sight of this vehicle.