Chevy Caprice Police Car: Once You Go Black...

We revealed the new Chevy Caprice police car late last night to bravos for the car, but lukewarm reaction to styling. GM's responded with shots of the Corvette-powered, RWD Aussie-built law enforcement-only Chevy Caprice police car wearing its dress blacks.

View gallery »

The one issue we had with the new Caprice was that it looked rather pedestrian — especially when compared to the menacing front end of a Dodge Charger. Well, in black, the Caprice actually looks pretty damn mean-looking. Take a look at that as well as the interior with its killer technology package that we'll be showcasing more on shortly.

Chevrolet Caprice Reports for Law Enforcement Duty in North America

An Australian-built Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) will be offered to join the ranks of law enforcement departments across North America.

From the same family as cars as the long wheelbase Holden Caprice, the customised law enforcement car will be available for ordering next year and could hit the streets from early 2011.

Chevrolet executives revealed the car at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police convention which is being held in Denver, Colorado this year. The event is the biggest of its type in North America.

The show also featured a display by Australia's National Safety Agency (NSA), which has developed state-of-the-art technology which can be integrated into law enforcement vehicles based on the Holden Commodore and Caprice.

Holden Executive Director Sales and Marketing, John Elsworth, today described the Chevrolet PPV reveal as an exciting first step which could lead to significant orders.

"Today is the start of the process. It's our ticket to the dance. Now we need to go out and really impress the judges," Elsworth said.

"North American law enforcement fleets account for about 70,000 sales a year so securing a fraction of those sales would be a major manufacturing boost for GM's operations in Australia.

"Opportunities like this don't come around very often. We are working hard to deliver a world class product worthy of serious consideration by the police."

Mr Elsworth said Holden was a proven supplier to Australian police fleets, including demanding highway and pursuit requirements.

"We believe that our strategic partnerships with Australia's enforcement agencies have certainly helped us better anticipate the needs of the North American customer."

General Manager for GM Fleet and Commercial Operations, Jim Campbell said the new Chevrolet Caprice police car was the right tool at the right time for law enforcement.

"We asked for a lot of feedback from our police customers, who helped us develop a vehicle that is superior to its competitors in key areas," said Mr Campbell.

Vice President for the global Chevrolet brand Brent Dewar added "Adding the Caprice PPV to the range gives agencies a greater choice for police and special service vehicles that are all available from Chevrolet."

The Denver show is widely regarded within the North American law enforcement community as an opportunity to review future equipment and technology for purchase.

Given many large US police and emergency service departments make fleet purchases on an annual basis, the Caprice PPV will be considered in next year's round of orders.

Chevrolet PPV specifications

The rear wheel drive sedan will be available as a V6 with Spark Ignition Direct Injection or as a V8 with Active Fuel Management, both E85 capable, plus a host of specialised equipment and features including:

*
Optional front-seat-only side curtain air bags allows a full-width rear-seat barrier for greater officer safety
*
An additional boot-mounted battery dedicated to powering police equipment
*
Compatibility with in-dash touch-screen computer technology
*
Sculpted front seats designed to ‘pocket' the equipment belt and for the long-term comfort of officers whose car is their effective office

The long wheelbase, rear wheel drive car featuring a four-wheel independent suspension will be promoted to police as a vehicle able to deliver responsive high-performance driving characteristics crucial in some police scenarios.

Caprice PPV's long wheelbase also contributes to exceptional spaciousness. Compared to the primary competition, its advantages include:

*
A large interior volume of 3,173 litres - more than the Ford Crown Victoria, including over 130 millimetres more rear legroom; and
*
At 510 litres, the Caprice's trunk volume is large enough to accommodate a full-size spare tyre under a flat load surface in the boot.

Additional, police car-specific powertrain and vehicle system features include:

*
High-output alternator
*
Engine oil and transmission coolers
*
Standard 18-inch steel wheels with bolt-on centre caps
*
Large, four-wheel disc brakes with heavy-duty brake pads
*
Heavy-duty suspension components
*
Police-calibrated stability control system
*
Driver information centre in the instrument cluster with selectable speed tracking feature

A host of complementary features are also offered, including special equipment packages such as spotlights; lockouts for the power windows and locks; and an "undercover" street-appearance package.

Caprice provides an efficient, spacious interior package with a rear compartment which enables the installation of a security barrier without compromising legroom for rear occupants. Boot volume was a priority to ensure adequate space for communication modules and equipment.

Holden Chief Designer, Richard Ferlazzo, said Caprice was ideally suited to the needs of a law enforcement department.

"Comfort was an absolute priority when designing Caprice which is essential for anyone spending long hours in their vehicle," Ferlazzo said.

"Caprice PPV ticks all the boxes, providing an optimally balanced package which we believe is superior to the competitive vehicles in all important aspects.

"We think the car projects an image of authority and efficiency which corresponds with the role of law enforcement in today's society."

High-wear seating materials were chosen to stand up to long hours of everyday use, while long-term durability and ease of cleaning were important criteria.

NSA Collaboration

The NSA will demonstrate its technology at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention on a Pontiac G8, from the same family as the Holden Commodore and will announce the launch of its Australian made high-tech Police vehicle designed to target the North American Law Enforcement market.

NSA is a technology development partner of the LAPD and believes a Holden product coupled with NSA's advanced integrated technology would provide one of the safest most high-tech police vehicles in the world.

The technology package highlights include:

*
Large, purpose designed, multi-function, touch screen integrated into dashboard
*
Intelligent power management system
*
Consolidated user interface
*
Automatic Licence Plate Recognition
*
In-car video with live broadcast capability
*
Advanced wireless connectivity
*
Automatic and seamless CAD and computer system updates performed ‘on the fly' minimising down time and costly service calls
*
Wireless vehicle telemetry fleet management system
*
Forward looking infrared/night vision (FLIR) camera
*
Fingerprint and facial recognition capability
*
Virtual prisoner cell
*
Latest high output low power LED lighting technology

NSA Director-Operations Des Bahr said the in-dash screen improved occupant safety and reducing up-fit cost by eliminating costly manual after-market rework.