Those who dreamed of a Chevrolet version of the now-departed Pontiac G8 muscle sedan had their dream turn into a nightmare on October 5, 2009, when Chevrolet announced that the all-new Chevy Caprice would debut in 2011. The only problem is that it is for law-enforcement use only. Civilians need not apply. Thanks for nothing.
Chevrolet made the announcement at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police convention, in Denver, Colorado. The Caprice PPV will be available for ordering next year and will hit the streets in early 2011. We've not seen it from behind, but it looks like the designers slapped a generic "Chevrolet-like" front fascia to replace the aggressive Pontiac split bumper design.
Power will come from an LS2-based engine (6.0-liters) making an estimated 355 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. For those of you who were hoping such a vehicle would be available to the huddled masses, no such luck. If you want a V-8, rear-drive sedan, you can only look to other brands, such as the Dodge Charger or Chrysler 300. Perhaps if there is enough of an outcry from enthusiasts, Chevrolet will take pity on you and offer it for sale to the general public. Of course, this is pure speculation on our part.
The following is straight off GM's media website. Read it and weep.
An all-new Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) will join the ranks of law enforcement departments across North America in 2011. It's a modern, full-size, rear-drive sedan that will offer both V-8 and V-6 engines, as well as a host of specialized equipment and features.
"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 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."
Vice President, Global Chevrolet Brand Brent Dewar added, "Along with Impala and Tahoe, the Caprice PPV gives agencies a greater range of choices for police and special service vehicles that are all available from Chevrolet."
Unlike other police cars on the market, the Caprice PPV is not based on existing "civilian" passenger-car model sold in North America. It has been developed in key areas specifically for police duty, containing modern equipment and features:
Powerful 6.0L V-8 with fuel-saving Active Fuel Management technology and E85 capability delivers expected best-in-class 0-60 acceleration (sub six seconds) and top speed; a V-6 engine will also be offered, beginning in the 2012 model year.
Optional front-seat-only side curtain air bags allows a full-width rear-seat barrier for greater officer safety.
Two trunk-mounted batteries, with one of them dedicated to powering various police equipment.
Designed for five-passenger seating, meaning the upper-center section of the dashboard can be used for equipment mounting without the concern of air bag deployment interference.
Compatibility with in-dash touch-screen computer technology.
Special front seats designed for the long-term comfort of officers whose car is their effective office, including space that accommodates the bulk of a typical equipment belt.
The front seats are sculpted to "pocket" the equipment belt, which greatly increases the comfort for a great range of police officer sizes. The foam density of the seatback and cushion insert surfaces are designed to conform to the shape of an equipment belt's various items, too, allowing the officer's back to rest properly on the seatback surface.
"The Chevrolet Caprice PPV's seats represent a revolution in comfort and utility for officers who spend long hours in their car," said Bob Demick, lead seat design manager. "The shape also enhances entry and egress, making it easier for officers to exit the vehicle quickly. The seatback bolsters, for example, have been purposefully contoured to help pocket the equipment on the belt, which includes the gun, Taser and handcuffs, which rest comfortably in the sculpted lower bolsters. That also increases the longevity of the trim cover surface."
Along with comfort, the materials used in the seats were also carefully selected. High-wear materials were chosen to stand up to long hours of everyday use, while breathability, long-term durability and ease of cleaning were also important criteria.
Engineers worked on several iterations of the seat, testing a couple of versions in the field to get real-world feedback from police officers, who used prototype seats in their cruisers for a month. Their input helped determine the final design.
The Caprice PPV is based on GM's global rear-drive family of vehicles that also underpins the Chevy Camaro. It uses the longest wheelbase of the architecture - 118.5 inches (3,010 mm) - along with a four-wheel independent suspension that delivers responsive high-performance driving characteristics that are crucial in some police scenarios.
Caprice PPV's long wheelbase also contributes to exceptional spaciousness. Compared to the primary competition, its advantages include:
A larger interior volume - 112 cubic feet / 3,172 liters - than the Ford Crown Victoria, including nearly 4 inches (101 mm) more rear legroom
The barrier between the front seat and rear seat is positioned farther rearward, allowing for full front-seat travel and greater recline for officer comfort
At 18 cubic feet (535 liters) free space (beyond battery located in trunk), the Caprice's trunk volume is large enough to accommodate a full-size spare tire under a flat load surface in the trunk storage area.
The Caprice's 6.0-liter V-8 is rated at an estimated 355 horsepower (265 kW) with an estimated 384 lb-ft of torque. It is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission that is performance-calibrated for police duty. Additional, police car-specific powertrain and vehicle system features include:
Engine oil, transmission and power steering coolers
Standard 18-inch steel wheels with bolt-on center caps
Large, four-wheel disc brakes with heavy-duty brake pads
Heavy-duty suspension components
Police-calibrated stability control system
Driver information center in the instrument cluster with selectable speed tracking feature.
A host of complementary features are also offered, including special equipment packages such as spotlights; lockouts for the power windows and locks; and an "undercover" street-appearance package (9C3).
To enable more room for interior equipment, the standard radio can be relocated to the trunk, allowing for an in-dash, touch-screen computer to be used.