Written by Police Fleet Manager Staff
The use of crossovers/SUVs for routine patrol is compelling for police work, and so is All-Wheel Drive. That explains the clear trend to the V8-powered, body-on-frame, full police package Tahoe, available in either 2WD or 4WD.
The Tahoe was redesigned for 2015 with new sheet metal, new interiors and new powertrain. The new direct injection, variable valve 5.3L V8 has a lot more torque, and it gets 1.5 mpg better fuel mileage in actual police use. See the Article Archives for the Police Fleet Managerreview of the 2015 Tahoe PPV and the 2015 Tahoe PPV 4WD.
New for 2016, the Tahoe PPV will have an Automatic Track Detect (Pursuit) Mode. In the past, and on other makes of police vehicles, to back off the electronic stability control for more aggressive driving required the driver to push a button. Then the ESC would stay at the wider limits until the driver pushed the button again, or the key was cycled off and then on again.
For 2016, the Tahoe PPV will automatically go from the default, conservative setting on StabiliTrak to the more aggressive setting for both stability control and traction control. This was originally developed for the Corvette. The system looks at numerous vehicle parameters, the sum of which indicate the driver’s intent to drive at a high-performance level.
The Track Detect Mode displays icons in the Driver Information Center to communicate this change in handling status to the driver. The system continually monitors the vehicle parameters and, when non-performance driving is indicated, will automatically default back to the most conservative setting.
When driving in low traction conditions, for example snow and ice, the system will remain in the conservative setting. This maximizes the vehicle’s stability during low-traction maneuvers. The ability to automatically respond to the driver’s intentions while considering road surface conditions is unique to the Tahoe PPV. This allows the driver to maximize the performance of the vehicle when in optimal conditions, yet keep the vehicle stable in poor conditions.
For 2016, and for the Tahoe 4WD Special Service Vehicle only, GM is offering an Off-Road Package. Order code 9G3, this is the fleet version of the retail Z71 package. Additionally, GM will offer a DuraTrac Off Road tire, option code RI8, with the 9G3 package. Both are only available on the non-pursuit rated, non-police package Tahoe SSV (5W4). This is definitely an off-road setup and much more aggressive than an On/Off Road version. This package uses special DuraTrac, heavy lug tires on an 18-inch aluminum wheel, and includes a 3.42 rear axle.
For 2016, the Tahoe PPV and Tahoe SSV have the option of the MyLink premium radio. This has a much larger touchscreen and a much more sophisticated Bluetooth. The standard Tahoe comes with a more basic Bluetooth.
Since 2015, OnStar comes standard on all Tahoe versions since the OnStar hardware and software is required for many features. However, it does not have to be activated. When it is activated, the initial request must originate from the vehicle. OnStar cannot make the initial contact.
Also new for the 2016 Tahoe PPV is the option of an aluminum wheel, replacing the black steel wheel and black wheel cover. This is a 17-inch wheel from the Silverado/Sierra truck. It passes all of the GM high-speed and durability tests. This aluminum wheel comes with the same pursuit-rated Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires as the Tahoe PPV with steel wheels. The aluminum wheels are available on both the Tahoe PPV 2WD and Tahoe PPV 4WD.
Impala, Caprice, Silverado
The 2016 model year is the last for the 9C1 police package and 9C3 detective package Impala Limited. The Impala Limited remains the lowest price police vehicle. Based on both interior volume and trunk volume, the Impala is larger than the Ford PI Sedan and Dodge Charger.
The Caprice PPV will be produced in 2016. GM Holden (Australia) has already announced it will end production in the plant that assembles the Caprice PPV late in the 2017 calendar year. GM will announce their plans for the Caprice PPV in the future.
The Silverado SSV was released in 2015. While the redesigned for 2014 Silverado is a carryover from 2015, the news for the 2016 Silverado SSV is with the options. Many of the police upfitting and special order options for the Tahoe PPV will fit on the Silverado SSV.
The Silverado is made in Silao, Mexico. The Special Service Versions can then be sent to the Kerr Industries facility in Arlington, Texas. This is where the Tahoe PPV and Tahoe SSV are completed for police work. Kerr is a second stage, factory upfitter. Kerr was active in the development of all Tahoe PPV and Tahoe SSV second stage components. These police-specific parts, from wiring harnesses to spotlights to mounting plates will also fit the Silverado SSV.
One must-have option for the Silverado SSV…electronic transfer case. If this turn dial is not ordered, the Silverado comes with a floor-mounted transfer case lever. This will be awkward to reach with the center console-mounted police equipment.
The big “green” news from General Motors for the admin fleet is the late-2015 availability of the Bi-Fuel CNG Impala. The CNG (compressed natural gas) fuel system is designed by Quantum Technologies, a Tier-1 automotive supplier. It is integrated into the vehicle by Quantum and General Motors engineering. The complete vehicle and CNG fuel system is designed to meet GM standards for reliability and durability, right down to the hardened intake and exhaust valves and seats on the 3.6L V6 engine. The Bi-Fuel CNG Impala is crash-tested and fully compliant to NHTSA standards for OE vehicles.
The Bi-Fuel CNG Impala uses the same basic 3.6L V6 and 6-speed trans as the Impala Limited 9C1 sedan. The CNG fuel system includes a single Type 1 steel CNG tank. This tank is positioned horizontally on the trunk floor, taking up less than half the trunk volume.
The Bi-Fuel CNG Impala can use either CNG or gasoline. It typically starts on CNG, runs on CNG until the tank is depleted, and then automatically switches to gasoline. The 7.7-gallon gasoline equivalent (gge) tank produces a CNG driving range of 150 miles. The 18.5-gallon gasoline tank allows a range of an additional 350 miles, for a total driving range of 500 miles. This is based on a fairly realistic 19.5 mpgge on CNG and 18.9 mpg on gasoline. At a time that gasoline is averaging $3.36 per gallon, CNG is averaging $2.11 per gallon equivalent.
Production of the 2015 Bi-Fuel CNG Impala begins in the Fall of 2015. Look for an extended driving evaluation in an upcoming issue of Police Fleet Manager. Admin vehicles make up 20 percent of the police fleet and this is a promising, full-size, totally green, admin sedan.
GM Powertrain Warranty
In March 2015, General Motors announced a revised powertrain warranty for their 2016 vehicles. For most retail vehicles, the five years/100K miles limited powertrain warranty has been reduced to five years/60K miles. This change does not affect police, special service, and government vehicles. The warranty for police and special service vehicles remained at five years/100K miles.
Published in Police Fleet Manager, Jul/Aug 2015