Today, Dodge launched an upgraded 2016 Charger Pursuit car, using the segment’s largest built-in touch-screen — a 12.1 inch model still dubbed UConnect, integrated directly into the center panel and designed for law enforcement. It is not available in civilian cars.

The Charger Pursuit’s standard display is five inches; the UConnect 12.1 is five times larger and has a 1024 x 768 pixel display for radio and vehicle controls, with the ability to connect to an official computer via Ethernet (the mobile computer is stored in the trunk). The display was tested to work with officers wearing gloves, and conditions from -40°C to 85°C (-40°F to 185° F).


It can be split to show the normal 8.4-inch UConnect interface (640 x 480) in addition to the police display; and redundant vehicle controls, such as radio and climate, are still below the Uconnect system.

There is now a fourth auxiliary button, adding to the three steering-wheel mounted auxiliary buttons managed through the Vehicle Systems Interference Module (VSIM). This solution makes upfitting easier. Dodge provides power, ground, and fusing for a variety of LED, lighting, siren, computer, modem, or camera systems.

The setup was created with feedback from Dodge’s 19-member Police Advisory Board.   Laptop computers with encrypted connections have replaced voice radios for transmitting sensitive information, such as crime scene details and suspect identities. Police vehicles often have additional displays, with mounting brackets and keyboards that can hurt an officer in a crash.

A laptop or screen between the driver and passenger adds dangerous impact points or could even interfere with airbag deployment; and can distract officers’ outward vision.

AWD

In 2012, the team provided Uconnect 12.1 system prototypes in the Los Angeles Police Department’s Dodge Charger Pursuit test cars.

The system includes the latest 2016 model-year upgrades, and includes a backup camera and various auxiliary ports and Siri (for those who link it with an iPhone). The Charger itself continues to have a choice of V6 or V8 engine, optional rear wheel drive, and the five-speed automatic no longer available on any other Charger.

Patrick Rall will be adding to this story shortly with personal impressions.