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Michigan State Police 2014 police pursuit car tests:
Dodge Charger, Chevrolet Caprice and Tahoe, Ford Taurus and Explorer

The Michigan State Police (MSP) held their annual 2015-model-year pursuit car tests in late 2014 at Chrysler's Chelsea Proving Grounds and Gratten Raceway Park.

squad car

The Dodge Charger police edition is still not available with the eight-speed automatic, possibly because the five-speed is time-tested and cheaper; that hurts its performance quite a bit, since the civilian Charger does 0-60 in around 6.6 seconds, while the police version was tested at over 8 seconds.

Vehicle dynamics and cornering

chargerThis test is done at the Gratten Raceway, a two mile long closed course, with 13 turns, some off camber turns, and dips and rises. The front straight away is 3,200 foot long affair. Here, the Charger AWD won, setting a new record. Low numbers are good for all columns except top speed.

This year the Charger beat the turbocharged Ford Taurus AWD sedan, which in the past has beaten all comers.The Dodge was slowest 0-60 and 0-100, but its prowess in the turns overcame those disadvantages (the 0-60 time shortfall was fairly small in real world terms in any case — less than half a second).

whelen flasherThe front wheel drive Impala had impressive 0-60 and top speed figures, marking the highest top speed by 1 mph overall and the fastest 0-60 time of any unboosted V6 car, but the handling apparently let it down — just as handling appears to have been a shortfall for the two Ford police sedans that did not have a turbocharger to make up for sloppy cornering in raw acceleration. It is interesting that the most "modern" design ended up with traditional 'American car" attributes of fast acceleration and poor cornering.

The chart below is broken up by group: 350-horsepower-plus sedans, other sedans, and crossovers/SUVs. It is ordered by track time.

By group and performanceLap Time0-60 mph 0-100Top SpeedBraking 60-0
Dodge Charger AWD V81:34.86.3115.63149 mph131.4 feet
Ford Sedan AWD, 3.5 Turbo1:35.05.8514.19149 mph131.5 feet
Chevrolet Caprice V81:35.16.1714.69147 mph126.8 feet
Dodge Charger RWD V81:35.46.3815.48148 mph125.1 feet
Non-boosted V6 cars
Dodge Charger V6 3.07:11:36.68.1420.77141124.8
Chevrolet Caprice V61:36.87.8419.41147129.8
Dodge Charger V6 2:62:11:36.98.0520.46141127.6
Ford Taurus V6 AWD1:37.57.8419.70132133.1
Ford Taurus FWD1:38.17.8219.82132133.7
Chevrolet Impala V61:40.77.7019.71150134.8
Crossovers and SUVs
Ford Explorer turbo-AWD1:37.46.5516.13132132.5
Chevrolet Tahoe V8 AWD1:39.57.8520.47121135.6
Ford Explorer AWD1:39.68.5722.78132133.5
Chevrolet Tahoe V8 RWD1:39.87.3118.99139135.7

Braking was not the AWD Charger's forté; it beat the Ford AWD sedan, but was easily bested by the rear drive Caprice V8 and V6, and by the Charger RWD V8 and V6. It did out-stop all the crossovers and SUVs, the Impala, and the other Ford sedans. Oddly, among the 350-horse-plus crowd, the RWD Charger had the best stopping distances by a decent margin.

police charger interior

All tests were done with 'slick tops," with no spotlights, no extruding sirens or lights, and two state troopers in the car. This means that the actual top speeds will likely be lower. The Grattan Raceway tests were done for eight laps by four different trained troopers, with the fastest five laps averaged to ge the score.

One factor which is not available yet is gas mileage. Police departments, not surprisingly, burn a lot of fuel, and while gas prices are low now, many departments were badly burned by the sudden spike in fuel costs three years ago. Gas mileage for police cars can vary from civilian versions, with different axle ratios and tuning — and for Charger, a different transmission. We don't know of any sources for this information. Thanks to Rex Sagle for sending this information to us.

Police pursuit and squad cars Dodge Charger Police Cars


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