GM’s infamous rear-wheel drive Zeta platform has given way to many a lauded vehicle, including the Holden Commodore/Pontiac G8/Vauxhall ClubSport, Holden Ute, Chevrolet Camaro, and the big daddy of the Zeta architecture – the Holden Statesman. But the unfortunate death of Pontiac took the vaunted G8 with it – and thus came the end of Zeta-based sedans in North America. However, fans of the Zeta platform have been following the return of a Zeta-based sedan in the form of a Chevy Caprice Police Package Vehicle (PPV), which is mostly a rebadged Holden Statesman. And it’s the Caprice PPV about which we have some news to share with you today.
Orders And Timing
Chevrolet will begin taking orders for the Caprice PPV detective package (9C3) in October 2010, with plans to put the vehicle on the streets in April 2011. The police package Caprice (9C1) will be available for order in January 2011 and is set to go on duty next June.
The rear-wheel drive Caprice PPV will join the front-wheel drive Chevy Impala as well as the Chevy Tahoe PPV SUV. This makes the bow tie brand the only brand to offer a full line of police vehicles in North America.
Not Just A Rebadge
Chevrolet made a few additions and modifications to the Statesman Caprice to get it ready for police duty: for starters, it gave the segment-leading interior volume sedan specially-designed front seats sculpted to allow for gun belts. In fact, the seats are made with high wear material and have a seat back security panel.
There’s also an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat with a reclining back and lumbar control, but these aren’t your ordinary seats: they also have manual quick-adjust controls that allow for quick fore and aft movement (meaning you don’t have to wait – or rely on – the electronic wizardry to get in, set up, and go).
Of course, police officers seem to be as addicted to their V8 engines as owners of our favorite bow tie muscle car (read: Chevy Camaro and its awesome LS3). As such, Chevy gave the Caprice a powerful 6.0L V8 (L98) that makes 355 horsepower and 384 lb.-ft. of torque. The powerplant contains GM’s Active Fuel Management technology and E85 capability.
Chevy will also offer a V6 (probably the HF V6) beginning in the 2012 model year. Both engines will be mated to six speed transmission with a sport shift mode for performance driving to catch them bad guys.
And since police officers carry all kinds of electric gadget and gizmos these days and need power to charge them up when they’re not in use, the Caprice PPV offers an optional auxiliary battery that can be used to power police equipment.
To protect the law from them criminals who may be sittin’ in the back seat, Chevy equipped the Caprice PPV with a full-width prisoner partition. However, the partition sacrifices head curtain air bags for the rear seat. This means that Caprice PPVs equipped with the partition will only contain head curtain air bags in the front seats.
Besides that, expect your standard-measure features on this law enforcement application of the Zeta platform, including StabiliTrack (which – per GM’s press release provides a “police performance” mode for enhanced stability during high-speed driving), 18-inch steelies with bolt on center caps and wheel covers, as well as five-passenger seating.
But here are two intriguing features that caught this writer’s eye:
- A certified speedometer (160-mph certified analog) includes a trip odometer, warning lights and multifunction display with Engine Oil Life monitor.
- A Driver Information Center contains a “Trap Speed” feature that captures speed when tracking/pacing other vehicles.
You can find the full spec sheet and additional information about the Caprice PPV at the recently-updated Chevrolet Caprice PPV website here.
So, what does all this mean to civilians who can’t get their hands on one of these babies (except for maybe in the back seat)? Well, it means that come April 2011, Camaro and G8 owners will finally have to watch their speed, since the Caprice PPV will be a very popular law enforcement vehicle that will actually be able to keep up with GM’s other Zeta-based muscle cars.
Whether GM will make a civilian version of the Caprice isn’t a big unknown right now, but we sure as heck need a new Impala – and the Caprice seems to fit the bill quite nicely. Until then, perhaps an auction for a decommissioned Caprice 9C3 is in order?