September 22, 2010
Chevrolet Caprice PPV is Ready for Duty
DETROIT – The all-new Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) hits the streets next spring, delivering the performance, comfort and safety needed by today’s police departments. It is a 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.
Caprice PPV joins the front-wheel-drive Impala PPV and Tahoe PPV, making Chevrolet the only manufacturer to offer a full range of police vehicles. Detective versions of the vehicle will be available in April 2011 (order code 9C3), while the patrol models will be on duty by June 2011 (order code 9C1). The MSRP for both models is $30,995.
“Caprice PPV is the right car for law enforcement today, with an unmatched combination of comfort, safety and performance,” said Brian Small, general manager, GM Fleet and Commerical Operations. “It fills a void in the law enforcement market and input from the Law Enforcement Product Council helped us design it to be the most useful and comfortable police car on the market.”
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.
“This is a no-compromises police car,” said Al Oppenheiser, vehicle chief engineer, GM RWD and Performance Car. “From the seats and console area to the safety features, everything was designed specifically for the way police officers will use it.”
Vehicle highlights include:
• Powerful 6.0L V-8, rated at 355 horsepower (265 kW), 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 be offered beginning in the 2012 model year
• Six-speed automatic transmission with sport shift calibrations for high-performance driving.
• Exceptional braking performance with heavy-duty four-wheel discs and police-calibrated anti-lock system
• Six standard air bags and StabilTrak stability control
• Segment-leading interior space, with the center console area designed for computers and other police equipment
• Special front seats designed for the long-term comfort of officers whose car is their office, sculpted to fit the bulk of a typical equipment belt.
Caprice PPV performance:
The Caprice’s 6.0-liter V-8 is rated at an estimated 355 horsepower (265 kW) with 384 lb-ft of torque (521 Nm). 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:
• 2.92 axle ratio with standard limited-slip differential
• 170-amp high-output alternator with idle boost feature
• Engine oil, transmission and power steering coolers
• Electric cooling fans and high-strength EPDM (ethylene-propylene-diene monomer) coolant hoses
A standard four-wheel independent suspension, with heavy-duty components, delivers responsive high-performance driving characteristics that are crucial in some police scenarios. A tight turning diameter of 38.06 feet (11.4 m) and a generous ground clearance of 5.6 inches (142.2 mm) enable exceptional maneuverability.
Caprice PPV safety
Officer safety was a fundamental element of the Caprice PPV’s design – and compared with competitors’ packages, it takes safety to the next level. The body structure features extensive use of high-strength steel and ultra-high-strength steel for greater strength and crash protection, while a complement of standard and available air bags offer great protection in the event of a crash.
Dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags are standard, along with head curtain air bags for the driver and front passenger and front seat-back-mounted thorax air bags. The front seat-only head curtain air bags enable the use of a full-width prisoner partition for greater officer safety. Combined front and rear head curtain air bags are available.
To help avoid crashes, the Caprice PPV includes standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control, with a special police calibration for aggressive driving maneuvers. Large, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock (featuring a police-specific calibration) are also standard, along with strong, durable 18-inch steel wheels (with bolt-on center caps and wheels covers) that are matched with performance Goodyear P235/50R18 tires.
Caprice PPV comfort
The Caprice PPV was designed to provide maximum comfort so officers can do their job more effectively, and one of the most important features in that arena is seating comfort. 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, low-friction 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 driver’s seat features eight-way power adjustability, with a reclining back and lumbar control – as well as quick-adjust manual fore and aft movement for additional comfort. There’s also a built-in security panel.
Also enhancing comfort is exceptional spaciousness. The Caprice PPV uses a long, 118.5-inch (3,010 mm) wheelbase, which enhances ride comfort while also enabling greater legroom. Compared to the primary competition, the Caprice’s advantages include:
• A larger interior volume – 112 cubic feet / 3,172 liters – more than the Ford Crown Victoria, including nearly 4 inches (101 mm) more rear legroom
• The barrier between the front seat and rear seat can be positioned farther rearward, allowing for full front-seat travel and greater recline for officer comfort
• The Caprice’s trunk includes 17.4 cubic feet (493 liters) of fully usable trunk space, to more easily accommodate police gear. Additionally, a full-size spare tire is located under a flat load surface in the trunk storage area.
Input from the Law Enforcement Product Council influenced the design of the center console and shifter location. The center console was designed to better accommodate computers and other equipment, while the shifter was moved 3.5 inches closer to the driver and its shaft was shortened by 1 inch. This final design is more comfortable and enables greater access to the computer and other equipment.
Caprice PPV additional features
A host of standard and available features are offered on the Caprice PPV that make it the ideal tool for police duty. They include:
• Standard driver information center in the instrument cluster with an oil life monitor and selectable “Trap Speed” feature that captures speed with tracking/pacing other vehicles
• Available auxiliary battery operates police equipment so that the main battery doesn’t get run down. This can help reduce officer downtime and ensure that they don’t become stranded in a potentially unsafe situation.
• Standard analog 160-mph certified speedometer, with 1-mph increments
• Standard “stealth mode” for exterior and interior lighting
• Standard trunk release button mounted on the instrument panel
• Available headlamp/tail lamp flasher system
• Available left hand spotlight
• Available roof hole (center or passenger side) for light bar
• Available disabled rear interior door locks and handles.
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 the beat.
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.
Chevrolet is a global automotive brand, with annual sales of about 3.5 million vehicles in more than 130 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. In the U.S., the Chevrolet portfolio includes: iconic performance cars, such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long lasting pickups and SUVs, such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers, such as Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers “gas-friendly to gas-free” solutions including the Cruze Eco and Volt, both arriving in late 2010. Cruze Eco will offer up to an estimated 40 mpg highway while the Chevrolet Volt will offer up to 40 miles of electric, gas-free driving and an additional 300 miles of extended range (based on GM testing; official EPA estimates not yet available). Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security, and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response, and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models, fuel solutions, and OnStar availability can be found at www.chevrolet.com.