The Michigan State Police's Precision Driving Unit tested a historically crowded field of patrol vehicles in late September and recently released preliminary results.
The unit, which has been testing new patrol vehicles since 1974, evaluated 12 sedans and three pursuit-rated utility models available to police agencies for the 2014 model-year. In addition, seven police motorcycles were evaluated.
Detroit automakers broadened their power-train offerings for 2014, which has brought two new all-wheel-drive vehicles from Chrysler and Ford and a multitude of powertrain and axle-ratio options on the Dodge Charger Pursuit.
Michigan troopers evaluate patrol vehicles using three basic tests — high-speed performance (acceleration and top speed), braking, and driving dynamics. For each category, we'll compare the test results for the V-8 and turbocharged sedans, the V-6 sedans, and the utility vehicles. We'll analyze motorcycle results separately in the coming days.
Among the six sedans in the V-8 and turbocharged category, the top-speed crown again went to the 6L Chevrolet Caprice PPV, which reached 155 mph. It was followed by the V-8 Charger at 152 mph and the 3.5L, turbo-charged Ford Police Interceptor at 149 mph. The turbo P.I. recorded the fastest 0 to 60 mph increment (5.66 seconds) followed by the Caprice (6.01) and Charger (6.13). The turbo P.I. reached 0 to 100 mph fastest (13.5) followed by the Caprice (14.35) and Charger (14.56).
Among the six sedans in the V-6 category, the 3.6L Chevrolet Impala reached a top speed of 149 mph followed by the 3.6L Caprice (148), 3.6L Charger (141), and 3.7L non-turbo Ford P.I. (132). The Caprice reached 0 to 60 fastest (7.45 seconds) followed by the non-turbo Ford P.I. (7.48) and Impala (7.67).
For the utility vehicles, the Chevrolet Tahoe reached a top speed of 139 mph followed by the turbocharged 3.5L Ford P.I. Utility (131) and 3.7L P.I. Utility (131). The turbo P.I. Utility logged the fastest 0-to-60 increment (6.28 seconds) over the Tahoe (8.22) and non-turbo P.I. Utility (8.02). The turbo P.I. Utility also reached 100 mph quickest (15.51) over the Tahoe (21.95) and non-turbo P.I. Utility (21).
For the brake tests, the V-8 Charger recorded the quickest stop among sedans from 60 to 0 mph at 126.5 feet. It was followed by the V-6 Caprice (126.8), V-6 Charger (127.5), and V-8 Caprice (127.6). Among utility vehicles, the Tahoe was the top braker at 133.2 feet followed by the non-turbo P.I. Utility (134.2) and turbo P.I. Utility (134.9).
In driving dynamics testing, the V-8 Charger with a 3.06 axle ratio recorded the fastest 2-mile lap time at 1 minute, 34 seconds (1:34.75). In a near dead heat, the V-8 Caprice came in second at 1 minute, 34 seconds (1:34.98). The turbo P.I. sedan came in at 1 minute, 35 seconds. Among the utility vehicles, the turbo P.I. Utility led the way at 1 minute, 37 seconds followed by the non-turbo P.I. Utility at 1 minute, 40 seconds and the Tahoe at 1 minute, 42 seconds.
By Paul Clinton