WATCH OUT CARBON E7, GM HOPS BACK INTO POLICE ARENA WITH CHEVROLET CAPRICE
From Holden, GM’s Australian outpost, comes this re-worked Pontiac G8 Police Package. No, wait a second…. It seems a little longer than the G8, that’s not a twin-port grille; and that’s a bow-tie badge; not an upside-down arrowhead.
Indeed, the police package General Motors will be offering fleets come 2011 isn’t a Pontiac G8 but a Chevrolet Caprice, nee Holden Statesman/Caprice. Although very similar to the defunct Pontiac G8, the Caprice police car is actually based on a larger version of GM’s rear-wheel drive Zeta platform.
Holden makes use of large variations of the Zeta platform in the Land Down Under. The Commodore (like our G8) is just the start: Calais, Ute, Caprice, Statesman, and Sportwagon form half of Holden’s showroom. As in the Middle East, the larger sedan version of this Holden Zeta platform will be called the Chevrolet Caprice for North America. Ah, but only for fleets; not for private customers. At least not until police auctions show ’11s with 180,000 miles and a severely dented rear bumper.
Sadly, not only is the Pontiac G8 dead but its spiritual successor won’t be available in Chevrolet showrooms. Take solace in a few simple facts. The Caprice is gigantic. (The G8 wasn’t “small”, after all.) Its wheelbase is stretched almost four inches and its overall length is about a half-foot beyond that of the Pontiac G8. This brings about a couple hundred more pounds in luxurious Holden formation and should do so anyway with all the extra riot gear. So if you don’t like your cars 17-feet long there’s no need to complain about the Caprice’s absence in Chevy dealers.
Even with all that weight, 355 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque from a 6.0L V8 should give the Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle some scoot. Cops should be comfortable with more interior capacity than the Ford Crown Victoria offers in addition to specially contoured seats to allow space for a typical cop’s belt.
Strangely, a “street-appearance” package code-named 9C3 will be available. One would assume that a supposedly “undercover” car ain’t gonna appear to undercover when NOBODY ELSE IS ALLOWED TO DRIVE THAT MODEL OF CAR. That being said, the same accusation could be applied to the upcoming Carbon Motors police car, a vehicle which, in basic garb, will still be identifiable by its core.
Nevertheless, it is the diesel-powered Carbon Motors E7 that’ll provide the stiffest fleet competition to the Chevrolet Caprice, not the antiquated Ford police package. As sales to consumers drop, will anybody else want to step in and play this game?