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Rating the 2010 Patrol Cars

During annual testing in Southern California, police drivers evaluated four-wheel vehicles for dynamic driving, acceleration, panic-stop braking and ergonomics.

April 14, 2010  |  by - Also by this author


The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department completed its annual evaluation of police vehicles and released separate reports on the motorcycles and patrol cars that POLICE Magazine obtained. We've given you the motorcycle evaluation. Now get ready for the patrol cars.

We've included the reports themselves as links at the bottom of these blog posts, so you can take a look for yourself.

As we look at results for the patrol cars, we know it will be a fond farewell. Next year, the Ford CVPI will be a memory, replaced by Ford's Taurs-based Police Interceptor.

(You can learn more about the vehicle testing by reading our coverage of the LASD Vehicle Testing Day in October.)

In October, police drivers evaluated six patrol cars, including Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Tahoe, a pair of Dodge Chargers (V-6 and V-8) and a pair of Ford CVPIs (3.27 and 3.55 axle ratios). The Impala and Tahoe were put through the paces running E85 flex fuel.

As with the motorcycles, the patrol cars are tested for driving dynamics on a 32-lap course and 2.16-mile pursuit course on closed city streets.

Acceleration and panic-stop braking tests were performed. These seem to grab the headlines, so we mention the top performers.

The zero-to-60 mph accelaration test was claimed by the Dodge V-8 Charger at 5.9 seconds. This test is where axle (or gear) ratio matters, because the Ford CVPI 3.55 (lower ratio, higher number) reached the mark in 8.42 seconds, generating faster acceleration (more torque) at lower speeds than the Ford CVPI 3.27 (8.57 seconds).

In the hard-braking test (from 60 mph to zero), the flex fuel vehicles registered dramatically improved stopping distance. The Chevrolet Impala and Tahoe shaved off more than 11 and 41 feet respectively than their regular unleaded counterparts.

Agencies typically review the report and use it as one element in their purchasing decision. View the full LASD vehicle evaluation report.

Related:

L.A. County Sheriff Releases Motorcycle Evaluation

Michigan State Police Release 2010 Vehicle Test Results

L.A. County Sheriff Tests 2010 Patrol Vehicles

Tags: Chevrolet Tahoe, L.A. County Sheriff, Chevrolet Impala, Ford CVPI, Dodge Charger, Vehicle Testing


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