The Police Car subset of the Auto Industry is a fairly boring segment for a narrow nitch market. Yet the money is well worth a car company to pursue that nitch. I drove a Chevy Caprice cruiser. It was a great car. Smooth, roomy. Very comfortable. Fast flat out, but not quick. It handled like a barge. It was stable when parked, or just going straight. Taking a curve caused a massive weight shift that if one didn’t expect it or were otherwise ready for it, could cause one to visit the ditch. However, if you learned to handle it, a good driver to really work the Caprice’s strengths. In it’s day, the Chevy Caprice was the Cop Car of choice all across the country. This became even more matter of fact when Chevy revamped the Caprice into what was affectionately called the “Turtleback”. The police turtlebacks were powered with a detuned LT-1 engine, giving the large and heavy car some good performance.
When Chevy killed off the Caprice, Ford stepped up with a Police Package Crown Victoria. Much of the same qualities the Caprice had, Ford more or less duplicated but without the Earth moving LT-1 engine’s power. More or less, the Crown Vic has been a solid and reliable patrol car for over a decade now. It looks good too… it looks like what a police cruiser should look like. My brother is rocking a Vic on duty as his patrol car, and he likes it. I would love to have one myself for road tripping. A used police package Vic makes for a hell of a nice car. Unfortunately they are big heavy cars that run the power to rear wheels and no where else… which would be fine in a lot of places, but here in the Uintah Mountains such a car would be less than ideal during the winter. But I’d still love one.
Now Ford is killing off the Vic and we’ve already seen a big move to the Dodge Charger Interceptor. Great car. Fantastic performance. But is it a good police car? I’d say yes, for agencies such as the Highway Patrol… Especially Utah’s. UHP did at one time rock out with the Mustang LX 5.0 for their patrol cars… fast, quick, agile enough for Utah highways. It served well. The Charger is much the same. Where the Charger fails however is the room inside. Cops have a lot of gear. Computers, Radios, GPS… And the Charger just doesn’t quite have enough room for everything. I’ve seen cops do a lot of adapting to make them work… but the cars remain cramped. Members of WeTheArmed.com remember the police trade in shotguns I lined up for them. The reason they traded in their 870 Tacticals was that they had to go to 14” Mossbergs… because they couldn’t get the 870’s in and out of their Chargers. There was even a broken windshield trying to get an 870 out quickly. D’OH!
For a general use Police Cruiser, I think we need a bigger car. Ford is breaking out with a new cop car. A Police Interceptor Taurus. Performance is below that of the Charger in the base model, but there will be a supercharged hot rod version. This should be a good option.
Chevy wants to get into the market again and is bringing back the Caprice Police Cruiser (called the PPV) which looks like it will be an amazing cop car. It’s based on an Australian Holden, which is a car company down under that understands the Bigger Hammer philosophy. Economic minded levels to hard core performance levels are coming. I suspect that once again the Caprice will become THE POLICE CAR.