Detroit-based General Motor's 2011 Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) scored high marks in the Michigan State Police Evaluation Program, which was conducted in mid-September. Law enforcement officers tested the new vehicle against the 2011 Dodge Charger Police Pursuit police car and the 2011 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, and found that the Caprice is faster from zero to 60 and zero to 100 miles per hour, achieves a higher top speed and stops in a shorter distance than its competitors.

The performance testing was conducted in Chelsea, Mich., and a vehicle dynamics comparison was conducted at the Grattan Raceway near Belding, Mich., where the Caprice PPV had the best overall average time per lap, according to General Motors. "Police departments around the country told us they needed a modern, high-performance rear-drive pursuit car," said Joyce Mattman, GM Fleet and Commercial Operations product director. "These results are proof that the Caprice PPV delivers the performance officers want, without compromising safety or comfort."

The Caprice's 6.0-liter V-8 is rated at an estimated 355 horsepower (265 kW) with 384 lb.-ft. of torque (521 Nm). It also comes equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, which is performance-calibrated for police duty, and standard Stabilitrak electronic stability control. Chevy's Performance Algorithm Liftfoot (PAL) calibration, available in the Caprice's Sport shift mode, allows the transmission to "understand" the driving conditions and select the appropriate gear through tight turns and provides the required engine torque.

The vehicle also includes sculpted front seats to "pocket" officers' equipment belts. The partition separating the front and rear seats is designed to allow the front seats to recline.

Results from the tests from the Michigan evaluation program are considered preliminary, and final results will be published later this year. "I'm tickled to death to see all of the manufacturers back into [police cars] in a big way after a period of stagnation," said Jerry Newberry, fleet manager for the Texas Department of Public Safety, which purchases 900 to 1,000 vehicles annually. "It's still a work in progress for all manufacturers."

Set to be available next spring, the Caprice PPV joins Chevrolet's other police vehicles, the front-wheel drive Impala PPV and Tahoe PPV.

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