Michigan State Police 2010 police pursuit car tests: Dodge Charger and other cars
Dodge Charger police cars - main page
by Curtis Redgap
The Michigan State Police have announced the results of their 2010 vehicle dynamics tests held on September 19 at Chrysler's Chelsea Proving Grounds
, and September 21 at Gratten Raceway Park, also in Michigan.
For the fifth straight year, the top dog is the Dodge Charger
. Even the hallowed Chevrolet Caprice, which held sway for ten straight years in Michigan's tests, did not fill in all
the top categories as the Dodge Charger has done.
This year, the Michigan State Police did not test "special service" vehicles (such as large SUVs); from this year forward, they will only test pursuit units. The only severe service vehicle that was ever
openly used for police pursuit work was the Ford Mustang, starting with the California Highway Patrol in 1982. By 1993, the SSP Mustang was gone; when the 1994 LT-1 engined Chevrolet Caprice Police Package hit 135 miles per hour, there was no need to have two vehicles.
The Michigan State Police began their dynamic testing in 1978. At the time, many departments bought by lowest bid to their specifications. Some would just buy cars off the dealer lots. If the department engaged in active patrol work, in my fleet manager opinion, those would be a nightmare!
There was no serious way to see if the departments were getting the most "bang for their buck" until the MSP started making their testing public (followed by the CHP).
In the MSP tests' first year, the B-body 1978 Plymouth Fury, with a 440 cubic inch V-8, won the testing. It had the highest top speed of any vehicle built that year, including the Chevrolet Corvette, at 133 miles an hour. They also had the lowest per-unit bid ($5,397), beating out the Dodge Monaco by $185; the Plymouth beat entries from Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, and Ford (LTD) by over $300 per unit.
The 1978 Plymouth Fury reached 100 miles an hour in 24.8 seconds, over 12 seconds
faster than anything else submitted for evaluation. The new Charger would blow it straight into the weeds.
Police cars entered for the 2010 model year
For 2010, the Dodge Charger Hemi beat all the competitors in every category. Acceleration, top speed, braking, road course, and top fuel economy for a V-8. It has been so since the Charger came on to the police package scene. There is also a V6 police package which is close to the Ford V-8.
Chevrolet submitted four vehicles, two being the W bodied Impala; the Impala is the only car on this platform. It is a well designed front wheel drive unit, handling the routine abuse of pursuit work.
Both the Impala cars had the 239-horsepower 3.9 liter V-6. One was fueled by regular unleaded gasoline, while the other was operated by E85 ethanol fuel, with only 15% being gasoline; both had the same horsepower. The engine shuts down up to 3 cylinders for economic cruising.
The other two Chevrolet vehicles were the rear wheel drive pursuit rated Tahoe, with one powered by regular unleaded gasoline and the other by E85; both could shut down up to four cylinders for economy. Like the Dodge 5.7 liter V-8, the MDS functions seamlessly, and no notice can be taken when the system functions or not.
Ford once again submitted two cars, both Interceptors née Crown Victorias, with different rear axle ratios to provide buyers with a choice of emphasizing mileage or acceleration.
Acceleration testing the police cars
The first test is the acceleration testing. All vehicles tested are slick tops, as well as not having spotlights or any normal police gear carried in a car's trunk. Testing involves outright full acceleration trials from 0 to 20, 30, 40, 50, the benchmark 60, 70, 80, 90, ¼ mile, and 100 miles an hour. Michigan targets 100 mile an hour times, as well as ¼ mile marks, and the Tom McCahill (once the country's foremost car tester)-inspired 0 to 60 mile an hour evaluation.
There is only one driver for the top speed and acceleration testing; he and a trooper who runs the computer equipment moves from car to car, running through the same sequence in each car. While those two are conducting the acceleration testing, two troopers conduct the brake testing, also moving as a team from car to car.
The first two stops are from 90-0 at 22 feet/second squared, warming up the brakes; then they run right into six 60-to-0 stops, a 4 minute heat soak, then repeating two 90-0 stops and the 6 60-0 stops. At Grattan Raceway, all four drive each car for an 8 lap series, where the best 5 laps are posted.
|SPEED ||Dodge Charger ||Chevrolet Tahoe||Chevy Impala||Ford Interceptor |