DENVER – 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.
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.
"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
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
* 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
* 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
* 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
* 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
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
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
* 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:
* High-output alternator
* 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
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.
Caprice on patrol: A brief history
Chevrolet's history with law enforcement is almost as old as the brand itself.
Police departments have used Chevy sedans as police cars for decades, ordering
them with basic equipment and powerful V-8 engines – including some special
engines that weren't available in regular-production models, such as the 1959
Biscayne that was offered with up to 315 horsepower.
The full-size Chevrolets joined the force in 1976. All Caprice police cars –
including the new, 2011 model – have carried the 9C1 order code. Here's a quick
look back at Chevys on patrol:
1959 – Chevy Biscayne police model capable of 135 mph with specially tuned,
police-only version of the 348-cubic-inch V-8 engine
1965 – The new "big-block" 396 engine is offered in Biscayne and Bel Air police
cars, making them among the most powerful on patrol; a 427 V-8 was added in 1966
1976 – The 9C1 order code is given for the first time to a full-size Chevy
police car package. It carries the Impala name.
1977 – The full-size Chevy is downsized. The 9C1 police package is retained, as
is the Impala name.
1986 – The Caprice name replaces Impala, as the car is updated for the mid- and
late-1980s – including the option of a powerful, 5.7-liter small-block V-8.
1991 – A new-generation Caprice is launched, with the 9C1 police car still on
1994 – The 260-horsepower (194 Nm) LT1 V-8 engine is offered in the Caprice 9C1,
making it one of the fastest full-size police cars ever offered.
1996 – Caprice police car production ends, as GM's full-size, body-on-frame car
architecture is discontinued.
2011 – The Caprice PPV returns to active duty.