EX­CLU­SIVE

The big Aussie sedan is still in the race to serve and pro­tect

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Inside -

An LAPD re­port shows Holden’s Caprice — aka Chevro­let Caprice — has the goods to win US po­lice chaser con­tracts

Depart­ment by Sher­iff Leroy D. Baca, eval­u­ates 15 ve­hi­cles: six from Chevro­let, three from Dodge and six from Ford (and in­clud­ing four listed as pro­to­types’’). Eight are V8s and the rest V6s. Three are SUVs and three run on E85 ethanol fuel.

Baca says in­ter­pre­ta­tion of test re­sults is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of each agency’’. Se­lect­ing a car to suit dif­fer­ent po­lice de­part­ments and lo­ca­tions is a

sub­jec­tive de­ci­sion’’ that should be made based upon that agency’s needs’’.

Judy Cor­co­ran, Holden’s as­sis­tant ve­hi­cle line di­rec­tor for the Zeta (Com­modore and Caprice) pro­gram, says Holden is de­lighted with the re­sults.

It would have been far sim­pler to mod­ify the G8 (Com­modore),’’ she says. But we wanted no com­pro­mises. The long wheel­base has the cabin space and al­lows us to pro­duce a far bet­ter prod­uct.’’

All the en­gi­neer­ing for the Caprice was done in Aus­tralia but the mar­ket­ing is car­ried out to­tally by Gen­eral Mo­tors in the US. Cor­co­ran says this means Holden will know only when a fi­nal de­ci­sion is made.

The base model is the Mid­dle East one which has been adapted us­ing heavy-duty fab­ric on re­designed seats to ac­com­mo­date bulky po­lice util­ity belts, and Cor­co­ran says there has been ex­cel­lent feed­back on the change.

Four LA po­lice driv­ing in­struc­tors pounded the cars in a pro­gram that in­cluded 32 high-speed timed laps of a 2.3km sec­tion of the NASCAR­s­tan­dard Fon­tana speed­way.

The Caprice ran the best time of 1:22.95, av­er­ag­ing 102.16km/h and scored the over­all max­i­mum 60 points.

Equalling these points, Ford In­ter­cep­tor front-drive and all­wheel drive mod­els recorded lap times of 1:24.13 and 1:21.54 re­spec­tively and av­er­aged 100.79km/h and 103.99km/h. Driv­ers then used a closed 4km street course to repli­cate a pur­suit, re­sult­ing in a 4:07.08 time for the Caprice, beaten by the Dodge Charger Hemi at 4:06.14 and Ford In­ter­cep­tor AWDE­coboost at 4:01.42.

On ve­hi­cle dy­nam­ics, ac­cel­er­a­tion and brak­ing, the Caprice held its own and, de­spite hav­ing the big­gest en­gine, recorded the best fuel con­sump­tion, 12.5L/100km.

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