Increasingly SUV-dependent police departments aren't exactly wanting for choice when it comes to acquiring new patrol vehicles. Domestic law enforcement can pick from the Dodge Durango, Ford Explorer, and soon, the all-new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, whose law enforcement-exclusive variants—the Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV) and Special Service Vehicle (SSV)—will enter service later this year.
Based on the brand-new Tahoe, both varieties of the officer-oriented SUV feature 72.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row of seats, making it easier to stuff handcuffed baddies thanks to rear doors that open 3.5 inches wider than the preceding 2020 model. The standard push-button start will fire up the Tahoe's 5.3-liter V8, which drives both a 10-speed automatic transmission and the uprated alternator used to power the many accessories police cruisers need, like radios, sirens, and optionally, a 4G hotspot. These devices can also draw power from a 760-amp secondary battery to reduce idle times and prolong maintenance intervals, increasing vehicle uptime.
Between the PPV and SSV, the latter features more upgrades, having been designed more for off-road and towing use than high-speed chases—more for park rangers and game wardens than highway patrol. It's available only with four-wheel drive, and with either a single-speed transfer case with Terrain Control or a two-speed transfer case rated for towing up to 8,200-pounds.
The PPV, on the other hand, is available in either rear- or four-wheel drive and touts numerous upgrades to its drivetrain and suspension to keep up with fleeing Smart ForTwo drivers. Its engine gains valve covers from the Camaro ZL1's LT4 V8 for an improved PCV system and more reliable oiling, which is complemented by larger, heavy-duty engine and transmission oil coolers. Retuned springs, shocks, and sway bars reduce the Tahoe PPV's ride height to decrease drag and lower its center of gravity, sharpening handling, which is also improved by a clutch-type limited-slip differential on the rear axle.
Maneuverability gains are also found via 20-inch steel wheels wrapped in specially developed Bridgestone Firehawk Pursuit tires, which were tested for durability and performance on multiple race tracks. These, in addition to six-piston Brembo front brake calipers also serve to reduce the Tahoe PPV's 62-to-zero braking distance by some 11 feet over the outgoing model. If these upcoming Chevys are half as good as the Durango Pursuit we spent a week with last year, they'll be pretty good performers in the field.
Both the 2021 Tahoe PPV and SSV will haunt your rear-view mirrors as soon as this year, so you might want to run outside and make sure your tags are up to date and your window tint's within the legal limit.
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