The Michigan State Police driving unit has released the results from the evaluation of the 2010 models of the most widely used two- and four-wheel patrol vehicles. The top dog? Chrysler's Dodge Charger.
For patrol cars, the Dodge Charger (5.7-liter V8) was the acceleration champion from zero-to-60 mph, reaching it in 6 seconds flat. The Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3-liter SUV running E85 was the runner-up at 8.13 seconds.
The 5.7-liter Charger also attained the top-logged speed of 146 mph. The two Chevrolet Impala cars (one running E85 fuel) reached 139 mph.
Of the motorcycles, the BMW 1200 reached 60 mph in 4.45 seconds, a full second faster than the Harley-Davidson bikes. The 1200 also reached a top speed of 127, 19 mph faster than the runner-up.
In addition to acceleration, top speed and braking, vehicles were tested on ergonomics, communications and fuel economy. In one of four braking tests, the Dodge Charger 3.5-liter came to a stop from 60 mph in 138 feet, the shortest distance reached for that test.
A vehicle dynamics evaluation is completed on a two-mile course to simulate pursuit and other emergency driving conditions. Motorcycles are also evaluated in this category.
For the 2010 model year, the driving unit tested Ford's Crown Vic Police Interceptor (both rear-axle ratios), GM's front-wheel Impala and two-wheel pursuit-rated Tahoe and the pair of Chargers (3.5-liter and 5.7-liter). Motorcycles tested included Harley-Davidson's Road King, Electra Glide and Buell Ulysses XB12XP, as well as BMW's R1200 RTP and G650.
The Buell bike was tested, even though Harley-Davidson has ceased production of it. Honda's ST1300 wasn't tested, because it was not provided to the unit by the manufacturer or a U.S. dealer.
The reports can be viewed at the agency's website. Agencies can also contact Sheila Cowles of the Michigan State Police at (517) 322-5174 for a print copy that will be available by the end of November.