The funny thing about the Chevy Tahoe police cruiser’s tenure on the market is that it only recently started to offer four-wheel-drive to these LEO customers.
Fuel economy and high-speed pace were the initial reasons – with even the 2012 5.3-liter Tahoe PPVs able to hit 139 mph.
Four-wheel-drive is a mandatory feature this time of year in many places. Example? My hometown typically runs Tahoe PPV models and Crown Victoria Fords – but during the recent blizzard, switched to their personal 4×4’s to keep the peace. And keep the grip on snow and ice.
Rear-drive Tahoe’s are very stable, and come for the PPV crew with a limited-slip rear diff. But nothing beats four driven wheels in deep snow.
Law Enforcement Only sales are fiercely contested among the Charger Pursuit, Ford Interceptor sedan and utility, and the Durango Pursuit and Caprice PPV.
The drive wheel configuration is particularly important to Police buyers, because it offers a hard and fast way to compare a set of models that all have pretty respectable specs.
The Charger Pursuit is the most popular by far for serious high-speed work, and is offered as an AWD 5.7-liter V8 for 2014 that can hit 60 in 5.0-seconds dead.
The Taurus and Explorer Interceptors from Ford are much tamer by comparison. The vast majority are AWD V6 models without the turbo, meaning things are pretty relaxed in comparison with the V8 Chargers.
The V6 Charger Pursuit is the volume king, and true heir to the Crown Vic needs of LEO teams. 290-horsepower in the base engine is still up 70 or so over the Crown Vic’s 220.
The Durango Pursuit is probably the best, most versatile option in terms of how many powertrains can lurk under a department’s matching livery.
The V6 and V8 are offered, each with optional 4×4. With the Durango’s latest hunkered-down stance, it definitely looks stable enough to match the Tahoe RWD’s track top speed.
By comparison, the Explorer Interceptor is comfortable and a good drive, but frankly more unibody-like in its payload and chassis ratings than many departments need for their cruisers.
But why so much need for four-wheel-drive Tahoe’s and Chargers versus the also-available Suburbans, F-150 XL, Ram SSV and Chevy Silverado W/T — all of which are also offered?
It comes down to price and safety. None of the previous four examples is rated for high-speed work, with explicit warnings right in the brochures.
To make an SUV police pursuit interceptor – versus just a mall-cop special – takes much more custom stability and traction-control programming, better tires and brakes, and of course, removing the original 110-mph governors on most civilian SUV Tahoes, etc.
So the Tahoe is good for the visibility and safety benefits of an SUV, and will join the fun next fall after the big roll-out of the Tahoe, Suburban, Escalade and Yukon around Super Bowl Sunday next month.
How cool are the above spinners? GM CGI plus Tom Burkart! Lookin’good.
The details and packages of the 2015 Tahoe PPV 2WD and SSV 4WD are still being finalized, but will massively improve the livability of the cabins via better tech, safety and refinement. Imagine the basest base interior you can, then strip it of most seat adjustments and even a CD player — and you have yourself the previous Tahoe PPV models.
MyLink would be a cherished feature among America’s finest, and is coming standard across the board for the civilian models.
The W/T 2014 Silverado gives a better clue of the real 2015 Tahoe PPV’s interior, which does have some customizable screens in the gauge binnacle.
2015 Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle
Ford Interceptor Models
This last one you neither want to drive nor be shuttled in…
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.