Chevrolet has announced that the next generation of Tahoe police vehicles will be available early next year.
The 2021 Tahoe will be available in two law enforcement packages: the Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV), which is designed for operation as a patrol vehicle; and the Special Service Vehicle (SSV), which is more focused on off-road and towing needs where high-speed operations are not required.
Both the 2021 PPV and SSV models are powered by the Tahoe’s 5.3L V-8 engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The PPV engine borrows high-performance rocker covers from the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 LT4 engine. These rocker covers improve crankcase ventilation, allowing the 2021 Tahoe to handle high lateral conditions better than its predecessor. Engine oil and transmission fluid are cooled by dedicated, heavy-duty cooling systems specific for law enforcement applications.
Chevrolet worked with Bridgestone to develop a pursuit-rated all-season tire for the 2021 PPV. The Firestone Firehawk Pursuit tires, mounted to 20-inch steel wheels, were tested by Chevrolet at multiple race tracks and play a large role in the PPV’s improved stopping distance, which the company says has been reduced by 11 feet from 62 to 0 mph on dry surfaces compared to the 2020 model.
Additional performance enhancements on the 2021 PPV include:
* Specific suspension tuning with unique monotube dampers, coil springs and stabilizer bars for less body roll and more driver confidence when executing police-type maneuvers.
* Lower ride height compared to civilian Tahoes for better high-speed aerodynamics and improved vehicle stability.
* Heavy-duty braking system with large front Brembo six-piston aluminum monoblock calipers on 16-inch rotors.
* Heavy-duty, clutch-type limited slip rear differential.
* Speedometer certified at 140 mph.
Both PPV and SSV packages benefit from the Tahoe's completely new design, which offers class-leading interior space, according to Chevrolet. The new Tahoe police-specific front seats provide additional hip room, allowing officers’ duty belts to fit more comfortably. The new Tahoe police vehicles offer 70.3 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the second-row seat, which is 18.3 cubic feet more than the next largest pursuit-rated SUV competitor, according to Chevrolet. Rear door openings are now 13% (3.5 inches) wider than the previous generation to ease the loading of handcuffed passengers.
The all-new independent rear suspension and longer wheelbase dramatically improve handling and ride smoothness for both civilian and law enforcement applications, particularly on uneven pavement and unpaved surfaces. The exterior design is based on the new Tahoe Z71 trim, which features a rugged front grille, higher approach angle and front skidplate.
Integrated technology standard on the 2021 Tahoe police vehicles include an HD Rear Vision Camera, Rear Park Assist that can help officers prevent collisions when backing up, and Hitch Guidance that helps officers attach a trailer.
New to 2021 Tahoe police vehicles is standard keyless entry and push-to-start ignition, which allow police officers to leave their keys on their belts for simpler and quicker use.
Available options include a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and a Rear Camera Mirror. The Rear Camera Mirror provides a wide, less-obstructed view behind the vehicle compared to a traditional rearview mirror. It is especially helpful with police cabin obstructions like cargo partitions, passengers and K9 kennels common in police vehicles.
An available suite of active safety features is designed to help improve situational awareness, including Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, and Following Distance Indicator.
Tahoe’s police vehicle electrical architecture has been greatly improved to reduce time and complexity of upfitting. A new standard blunt-cut wire harness has 31 wire circuits to the cockpit, 56 wire circuits to the cargo area, and 25 shared circuits to connect aftermarket equipment without removing major panels or components. Upfitters can repurpose the steering wheel-mounted buttons using the blunt-cut wires to perform tasks like initiating a Code 3 with lights and sirens or keying a department radio microphone.
The electrical system is powered by an upgraded dual battery system with emergency equipment isolation to meet the unique needs of police. To avoid excessive engine idling, a 760-amp auxiliary battery will allow video systems, department radios, mobile data terminals, emergency lighting and more to operate without running the engine. A new high-output alternator is 47% more powerful than the 2020 model to support the continuous running of electrical equipment.
Fuel economy is improved in the 2021 Tahoe police vehicles through Dynamic Fuel Management. DFM enables the engine to operate in up to 18 different cylinder patterns—with as few as two cylinders—to optimize power delivery and efficiency. The DFM controller calculates 80 times per second how many cylinders are required to meet the driver’s requested torque.
While the Tahoe PPV is offered in two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations, the SSV is exclusively 4WD. For added off-road capability, 4WD models offer a Terrain Mode, which provides performance similar to 4WD Low without the need of a two-speed transfer case.
The Tahoe Special Service Vehicle also offers an available Max Trailering Package with a max-tow rating of 8,200 pounds. This package includes an active, two-speed electronic Autotrac transfer case with push-button controls and an integrated trailer brake controller.
“Tahoe is the most aspirational vehicle in the law enforcement industry,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM Fleet. “By listening to the needs of officers from around the country, we have built the best Tahoe ever.”
The 2021 Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle and the Special Service Vehicle will be assembled at General Motors’ Arlington Assembly in Texas with globally sourced parts in late 2020. The vehicles are expected to be available in early 2021.
Tahoes have been serving law enforcement since 1997 when the first Pursuit-Rated Package was introduced. Over the years, Chevrolet has continued to listen to officers and add new features and options with their needs in mind. General Motors organized an official Law Enforcement Product Council 20 years ago to learn directly from officers how officers can more effectively perform their duties behind the wheel. The council is comprised of ranking law enforcement officers and civilian fleet managers, who have been instrumental in Chevrolet’s police-vehicle programs over the years.