Monday, October 5, 2009

The Return of the Caprice

At the IACP conference in Denver today, General Motors unveiled plans for a new patrol car that will be exclusive to the police, not sold to the public. It will be the Chevy Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle, and it will be based on GM’s global rear-drive architecture called "Zeta." The Zeta platform also underpins the Camaro, the Australian Holden Statesman and the soon-to-be-extinct Pontiac G8.

But a Chevy spokesman said that the new Caprice is not a restyled G8. The new police car is, according to the manufacturer, most similar to a Chevy Caprice that is sold in the Middle East. It will be built on the long-wheelbase (118.5 inches) version of the Zeta platform, and significantly we think, there are no plans at this time to sell a version of the Caprice to the public.

For police duty the car gets a 6.0-liter V8 rated at 355 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. A V6 version will arrive for the 2012 model year. GM says the new cruiser will take aim at competitors from Ford and Dodge. The Ford Crown Victoria is an elderly design that nonetheless remains the overwhelming Police favorite today, while the Dodge Magnum has made inroads into the market in recent years.