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