Here’s something we don’t think the Michigan State Police tests new cop cars on: pace car duty. Apparently, NASCAR will use a police-spec 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit to pace both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the Sprint Cup Series on March 3 and 4, respectively, in Phoenix, Arizona.
“Phoenix marks our new track-proven Dodge Charger Pursuit’s inaugural pace car weekend, while highlighting the fastback sedan’s benchmark levels of performance and the Dodge brand’s 62nd year of NASCAR racing heritage,” Peter Grady, vice president of Chrysler’s fleet operations, said in a prepared statement.
The 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit is available to law enforcement agencies with either a 292-horsepower 3.5-liter Pentastar V-6 or a 370-horsepower 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. Dodge also claims the Charger Pursuit V-8 had the fastest acceleration times during the Michigan State Police’s (MSP) 2012 Police Vehicle Evaluation tests. The Charger Pursuit V-8 reached 60 mph in 5.83 seconds and 100 mph in 13.65 seconds.
Mopar offers six factory-installed police packages and 24 Mopar tactical accessories for the Dodge Charger Pursuit V6 and V8 models to help law enforcement agencies customize the pursuit cars to their specific needs. Dodge didn’t say which accessories the 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit would be equipped with for its NASCAR pace car duties — we suspect any equipped with a discotheque’s worth of strobe and wig-wag lamps should be more than sufficient.