Enthusiasts will be happy to know the GM Zeta rear-wheel-drive platform that underpins the Pontiac G8 will stay in the U.S. after the Pontiac G8 disappears. Unfortunately, the new car — the 2011 Chevrolet Caprice — will only be available to law enforcement officials.
For the first time since GM killed the aging B-body sedans in 1996, Chevrolet will again offer police agencies a large, rear-wheel-drive police car. GM has offered its front-wheel-drive Impala to law enforcement since the death of the last Caprice, but the segment continued to be dominated byFord’s Crown Victoria. Now, Chevrolet is reentering the RWD police car market just as Ford is leaving it.
“The new Chevrolet Caprice police car is the right tool at the right time for law enforcement,” said Jim Campbell, general manager for GM Fleet and Commercial Vehicle Operations. “We asked for a lot of feedback from our police customers, which helped us develop a vehicle that is superior to the Crown Victoria in key areas.”
Powering the new Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) is GM’s proven 6.0-liter V-8 with Active Fuel Management and E85 capability to help law enforcement agencies reduce their environmental impact. For police car duty the V-8 produces 355 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque and is coupled to a specially calibrated six-speed automatic transmission. With 355 hp, the 6.0-liter V-8 also gives the Caprice PPV sub-6-second 0 to 60 mph acceleration times, making it best-in-class for acceleration as well as top speed. Chevrolet will offer a V-6 engine beginning in 2012. No word was given on which V-6, but it is likely to be GM’s 3.6-liter direct-injected unit.
Inside the car, the Caprice offers more interior room than the Crown Victoria, meaning police officers won’t be as cramped riding with all their gear. Another feature to save space is the availability of a built-in touchscreen computer system to replace the bulky laptop computers typically found in most police cruisers. Chevy also adds anextra battery and a high-output alternator to help power additional electronic accessories.
The Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle goes on sale in 2011 alongside the police-spec Impala and Tahoe.