There is a new player in town when it comes to police department SUV’s.
Well sort of a new player. The Chevrolet Tahoe has been providing SUV’s to law enforcement for some time but in recent years they have been passed up by the more agile and budget friendly Ford Explorer and Dodge Durango.
But not to be outdone, the all new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe brings a Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV) and a Special Service Vehicle (SSV) to law enforcement that intends to go hard at the competition.
Based on the brand-new Tahoe, both varieties of the officer-oriented SUV feature 72.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row of seats, and thanks to rear doors that open 3.5 inches wider than the preceding 2020 model, prisoner transports are made easier.
The Drive reports that the standard push-button start will fire up the Tahoe’s 5.3-liter V8, which drives both a 10-speed automatic transmission and the uprated alternator used to power the many accessories police cruisers need, like radios, sirens, and optionally, a 4G hotspot. These devices can also draw power from a 760-amp secondary battery to reduce idle times and prolong maintenance intervals, increasing vehicle uptime.
The exterior design of the Z71 trim features a higher approach angle and a front skidplate. Chevy says it has improved the electrical architecture so it’s easier to upfit necessary aftermarket police equipment. Inside the cabin, there are special front seats that provide additional hiproom to accommodate officers’ utility belts.
Between the PPV and SSV, the latter features more upgrades, having been designed more for off-road and towing use than high-speed chases—more for park rangers and game wardens than highway patrol. It’s available only with four-wheel drive, and with either a single-speed transfer case with Terrain Control or a two-speed transfer case rated for towing up to 8,200-pounds.
The PPV, on the other hand, is available in either rear- or four-wheel drive and touts numerous upgrades to its drivetrain and suspension to. Its engine gains valve covers from the Camaro ZL1’s LT4 V8 for an improved PCV system and more reliable oiling, which is complemented by larger, heavy-duty engine and transmission oil coolers. Retuned springs, shocks, and sway bars reduce the Tahoe PPV’s ride height to decrease drag and lower its center of gravity, sharpening handling, which is also improved by a clutch-type limited-slip differential on the rear axle.
Maneuverability is the gain in the 20-inch steel wheels wrapped in specially developed Bridgestone Firehawk Pursuit tires, which were tested for durability and performance on multiple race tracks. The six-piston Brembo front brake calipers also serve to reduce the Tahoe PPV’s 62-to-zero braking distance by some 11 feet over the outgoing model.
The cost of the police package Tahoe has not yet been revealed but to compete with Ford and Dodge, they will have to reduce the civilian model starting price of $50, 295.