If I were a trickster, I would ask you to name the best-selling police cars. This would be unfair, however, because the best-selling police cars aren’t cars at all; they’re trucks. Chief among those trucks is the Tahoe PPV, and Chevy has just come out with a new one.
Compared to some of the other police vehicles in the news – like the Tesla Model S – the Tahoe is a bit of a dinosaur. But just like an actual dinosaur, the Tahoe PPV is not something you want to mess with.
Chevy is going against the grain with the Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle, as Chrysler and Ford are increasingly turning to car-based SUVs for pursuit vehicles. For example, the Explorer-based Police Interceptor shares its platform and almost all of its drivetrain with the Ford Taurus, which, in turn, is basically a ten –year-old Volvo S60. The Chevy Tahoe PPV is no car. It’s a truck to its very bones.
It’s built on a ladder frame, just like your great grand pappy’s 1932 Chevy. But if ladder frames were good enough to beat the Nazis, we ought to take some time to look at the benefits police get from the old technology. For starters, it’s incredibly durable and hard police service is unlikely to warp the frame or cross members. And the fully boxed perimeter frame means this thing can tow that 35 metric-ton dinosaur we were talking about earlier.
But it’s not all old-school. Despite a 5.2-liter V8 engine and a gross – both technically and literally – weight that’s likely to be around 7,000 pounds, the Tahoe PPV can actually manage a little more than 19 mpg. That’s thanks to direct injection and cylinder deactivation.
The 2014 Tahoe came in dead last in the 2013 Michigan State Police Vehicle Evaluation. So for 2015, Chevy upped the power a bit. The Taheo PPV now sports 355 horsepower and 383 pound feet of torque.
The PPV also get improved steering, brakes, and suspension. These were already surprisingly good in last version, with the PPV crushing – but not literally – other vehicles in the braking challenge.
Where the Tahoe PPV really shines is with its utility. The interior offers gobs of space and comfortable seats, both critical features for officers who spend nearly ten hours straight in their vehicles.
The Tahoe even looks the part. The menacing look created by the car pusher bumper and steel wheels are only slightly marred by the slightly four-eyed look of the headlights. Menace may not be what you want for community relations, but it looks like the Tahoe went to the Robocop police academy.
As police continue to move away from an arsenal of full-sized sedans, to a more diversified array of vehicles, trucks like the Tahoe PPV will continue to take on added importance in law enforcement. With performance like this, that may not be a bad thing.