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Detroit police test Holden cop car

Pace notes: Holden’s Australian-made Caprice PPV got a thorough workout by police at Lansing in the US on the weekend.

Michigan state police the latest to test Holden Caprice-based patrol vehicle

21 Sep 2010

POLICE from General Motors’ hometown of Detroit are the latest US law enforcement officers to sample the Australian-made Caprice-based Chevrolet Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV), which will represent GM Holden’s single biggest export opportunity when sales commence in a little over a week.

The Caprice PPV was one of a range of new patrol cars – also including Ford’s 2011 Taurus and Explorer, and Dodge’s 2011 Charger Pursuit – to be put through its paces by members of the Michigan State Police Precision Driving Unit at the Lansing racetrack in Michigan over the weekend.

Holden says its plans to sell “thousands, not hundreds” of PPVs in North America once the order books open on October 1, but will not comment on the outcome of its “direct marketing activities” with various US police departments.

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“We will receive our first orders from October onwards and hope we will have some positive announcements then,” Holden’s director of external communications Emily Perry told GoAuto.

The unmarked detective version of the long-wheelbase Caprice police car will soon go into production at Holden’s Elizabeth factory, before the PPV V8 enters production in early 2011, followed by a V6 version in 2012.

The US police vehicle market accounts for about 70,000 new vehicles annually, while the PPV program will mark the resumption of Holden exports to North America for the first time since lucrative exports of the Commodore-based Pontiac G8 were axed along with GM’s Pontiac brand last year.

Holden will not comment on the likelihood of exports of the Chevrolet Caprice police car leading to exports of a version for sale to the American public, which could lead to more sales than the Commodore and Caprice currently attract in Australia.

However, GM’s Australian subsidiary is adamant the Caprice PPV’s long-wheelbase, rear-wheel drive configuration, large interior and lusty 6.0-litre V8 performance will make it the best vehicle in its class.

Along with its rivals, GM said the Caprice PPV was subjected to top speed, acceleration, braking, high-speed handling and other tests during the 2011 Police Vehicle Evaluation Program in Michigan.

From April 2011, the Caprice PPV will join the front-wheel drive Impala PPV and Tahoe PPV on US streets, which according to GM makes Chevrolet the only manufacturer to offer a full range of police vehicles.

“The full-size rear-wheel drive Caprice PPV delivers the performance, comfort and safety that today’s police departments need to help keep America’s streets safe,” said GM.

“With unmatched interior space and sculpted front seats to ‘pocket’ an officer’s equipment belt, the Caprice PPV allows officers to do their jobs effectively with maximum comfort.”

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