There'* something inherently satisfying about using a blunt force object for its exact purpose, be it ripping the cover off a baseball with a Louisville Slugger or bonking one of those animatronic pop-up varmints with a rubber mallet at the local arcade. At the opposite end of the spectrum, there'* something equally satisfying about using a precise tool designed for an exact purpose, be it a Montblanc pen or a pickle fork. With the introduction of its 2012 Chevrolet Caprice PPV, General Motors is betting that law enforcement customers are willing to trade-in the former brand of satisfaction for the latter.
For decades now, an overwhelming majority of policemen and women have relied on the four-wheeled equivalent of a blunt object, the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, as a primary tool in combating crime. Stubbornly resistant to change, the Crown Vic proudly rode its pig iron and scrimshaw frame into retirement earlier this month, a victim of growing legislative hurdles and slowing sales. Yet despite – or perhaps because of – its antiquated technology and crude construction, police divisions far and wide have been clawing over each other to secure the last few examples.
GM believes it has a better way: 2012 Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle. Company officials say they are so cognizant of the unique needs of law enforcement that they've designed and built this special pursuit vehicle specifically for their use. GM has divulged no plans to park a civilian version in your Bowtie showroom and you won't be seeing them as taxis either. This is a purpose-built piece of kit. Of course, the truth is a bit more complicated than that. The Caprice PPV is actually a lightly modified version of GM'* long-wheelbase Zeta sedans that are marketed in Australia as the Holden Commodore and in the Middle East as... well, a Chevy Caprice. GM recently offered ordinary Canadian consumers a shorter Zeta, in the form of the well liked but short-lived Pontiac G8, but it expired when its brand was shuttered.