Vehicle Research

Michigan State Police to Evaluate 22 Patrol Vehicles in 2014 Testing

July 10, 2013, by Paul Clinton

The Michigan State Police will test four new police motorcycles and Chrysler's new all-wheel drive Dodge Charger Pursuit this year among the 22 police vehicles evaluated for law enforcement purchasers.

In September, troopers assigned to the agency's Precision Driving Unit will get behind the wheel of 13 four-wheel patrol vehicles and ride nine motorcycles in an increasingly crowded two-wheel field. The Chevrolet, Dodge, and Ford vehicles will be introduced during the 2014 model year.

Chrysler will bring its all-wheel Charger that will compete against Ford's all-wheel patrol vehicles. Powered by a 5.7-liter, V-8 engine, the new Charger will arrive along with a pair of 3.6-liter, V-6 Chargers (2.65 and 3.07 axle ratios), and a pair of rear-wheel drive V-8 Chargers (2.65 and 3.06 axle ratios).

Ford will again bring three Police Interceptor sedans and its P.I. Utility. The automaker is producing a 3.5-liter V-6 sedan with front-wheel drive; a 3.7-liter V-6 sedan with all-wheel drive; and a 3.5-liter turbo charged sedan with all-wheel drive. The P.I. Utility arrives with a 3.7-liter V-6 engine and all-wheel drivetrain.

General Motors is returning with its four patrol vehicles. Two versions of the Chevrolet Caprice PPV include a 3.6-liter V-6 or 6.0-liter V-8 engine. The Chevrolet Impala returns with a 3.6-liter V-6 and has been rebranded as the Impala Limited. The pursuit-rated, 5.3-liter, V-8 Tahoe rounds out the field.

Several new motorcycles will be offered to law enforcement agencies in the coming year. BMW has introduced the F800GTP to go with its R1200RTP. The F800 arrives with a belt-drive, single-cylinder, 800cc engine and weights two-thirds less than the R1200.

"It's more of a street bike, a smaller bike with better fuel economy that's easier to ride," Sgt. Ron Gromak told

Milan-based Piaggio S.p.A. may offer its Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring ABS and Moto Guzzi Norge 1300 ABS to police agencies depending on results from the testing, Gromak said.

"I think they want to get some data on it and then make that determination," he said.

Also new for 2014 is the Yamaha FJR1300P ABS, which was featured in June issue of POLICE Magazine. Returning motorcycles include Harley-Davidson's FLHTP Electra Glide (with the batwing faring) and FLHP Road King as well as Victory's Commander I (with the batwing faring) and Commander II.

This year, the testing has been scheduled for Sept. 18-23. The acceleration, top speed, and braking tests are scheduled for the Chrysler Proving Grounds in Chelsea. Vehicle dynamics will be evaluated at Grattan Raceway's road course.

By Paul Clinton


  1. 1. Steve Kibler [ July 11, 2013 @ 12:38PM ]

    Not to slam the Michigan State Police but I've been reading about the MSP testing police now cars for over 25 years. It seems to me their core business is testing new police vehicles, not catching bad guys. I appreciate the test data they provide us so I will simply ignore complaints from family in Detroit complaining that they're affraid to go out after dark.

  2. 2. Rex Sagle [ July 15, 2013 @ 12:44PM ]

    After graduating from the Federal Law Enforcement Driver Instructors program, I joined ALERT, and started being a participant in the MSP annual Police Vehicle evaluations I found that it the various Fleet Managers if possible paid attention to results of the testing, many would purchase vehicles other than what they do, unless budgetary and State laws as well as some legislators putting pressure on the purchasing agent to purchase certain brand,whether or not they perform well in the test, not fair but a reality. The precision Driving unit of the MSP do a fine job, and it is part of the job, once assigned to that unit,they try and advise purchasing agents, what is the best vehicle for a particular application to catch the bad guys,so saying they are afraid to come out after dark to me is a unfair assessment of the duties they perform. ,

  3. 3. MSP [ July 30, 2013 @ 06:19PM ]

    @kibler: the state police wouldn't be directly responsible for street crime in Detriot.

  4. 4. Rick [ September 03, 2013 @ 09:53AM ]

    Our agency will only drive vehicles that have sucessfully been tested and proven at MSP. Smaller agencies would never have the resources to do this on their own. As to SK above, the next time a police car goes screaming by to catch the bad guy that is kicking in your loved one's back door after they have called 911, its good to know the car is going to stay on the road and not take you out on the way.

  5. 5. LeighRay [ November 15, 2013 @ 07:49AM ]

    @Steve Kibler: You assume that the Michigan State Police's core-business is vehicle testing because of the volume of material they've published over the years? The Precision Driving Unit is staffed by fewer than a dozen troopers in an agency with 1000 officers assigned to 29 posts around the state. As for crime in Detroit, keep in mind that the city-proper is only 138 sq miles and 700,000 people. "Metro Detroit" is composed of 200 cities and townships that are home to 5 million people. The vast majority of the metro area is safe and immaculate. The suburbs outnumber the city in population 5 to 1. As for the MSP... they provide tremendous backup to local law enforcement, including Detroit.


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