Chevy Claims Caprice Beat Out Dodge for Top Cop Car
September 22, 2010
MICHIGAN – General Motors is taking a victory lap in a police car this week before the checkered flag has even been waved.
The bowtie brand is claiming that it beat 2011 Dodge Challenger and Ford Crown Victoria in testing by the Michigan State Police’s annual police car evaluation held this past Saturday and Monday. The tests are being closely watched by departments around the country, and millions of dollars in purchases are at stake.
Just two giant problems. First, the Michigan State Police has no official comment to validate Chevy’s claims. Second, Chevrolet tested its car against the wrong Ford. The Crown Victoria goes out of production at the end of next year. Chevy doesn’t claim that its car beat the Crown Vic’s replacement, a Taurus. That’s its major competitor for next-generation police cars. Thus, we’re fairly amazed that Chevy tries to make a claim to victory in what would appear, without the Taurus, to be a meaningless contest.
The rear-wheel drive Caprice comes with a V-8 engine, with 355 horsepower and 348 pound-feet of torque.
Although it’s not the biggest segment, carmakers take pride when they have a strong, powerful police car to offer:
“The public is interested in it,” said Dana Hammer, marketing manager for the Caprice PPV. “It’s a vehicle they can relate to. It’s good for us from a brand perspective, because it’s the vehicle people see on the streets.”
For a long time, only the Ford Crown Victoria could provide the rear-wheel drive performance police fleets wanted, coupled with strong body frames and top speeds. But with the Crown Victoria set to retire from police fleets at the end of 2011, other automakers are stepping in with options.
“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. “It’s still a work in progress for all manufacturers, but that’s been the nice thing in the development of this Caprice – GM is doing what it takes to bring the best car to the market.”
The results GM touted this week are considered preliminary. Final results will be published later this year by the Michigan State Police.