Detroit’s General Motors Co. today announced it has unveiled two law enforcement packages using the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe – the Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle, which is designed for high speeds and dynamic capability with added comfort for an everyday patrol vehicle, and the Special Service Vehicle, which is for off road and towing needs.
Both are powered by the Tahoe’s 5.3L V-8 engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The pursuit vehicle engine borrows high-performance rocker covers from the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 LT4 engine. The rocker covers improve crankcase ventilation, allowing the 2021 Tahoe to handle high lateral conditions better than its predecessor. Engine oil and transmission fluid are cooled by dedicated heavy-duty cooling systems specific for law enforcement applications.
The engine also features Dynamic Fuel Management, which enables the engine to operate in up to 18 different cylinder patterns with as few as two cylinders. This is designed to optimize power delivery and efficiency. The controller calculates 80 times per second how many cylinders are required to meet the driver’s requested torque.
Chevrolet worked with Bridgestone to develop a pursuit-rated all-season tire. The Firestone Firehawk Pursuit tires, mounted to 20-inch steel wheels, were tested at racetracks and help the pursuit vehicle’s stopping distance, which has been reduced by 11 feet when going from 62-0 mph on dry surfaces compared to the 2020 model.
Other enhancements of the pursuit vehicle include:
- Specific suspension tuning with unique monotube dampers, coil springs, and stabilizer bars for less body roll.
- Lower ride height compared to civilian Tahoes for better high-speed aerodynamics and improved vehicle stability.
- A heavy-duty braking system with large front Brembo six-piston aluminum monoblock calipers on 16-inch rotors.
- Heavy-duty, clutch-type limited slip rear differential.
- Speedometer certified at 140 mph.
Both packages feature new designs that offer increased interior space. The front seats provide additional hip room for utility belts, and the vehicles offer 70.3 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the second-row seat.
The all-new independent rear suspension and longer wheelbase improve handling and ride smoothness for civilian and law enforcement applications, particularly on uneven pavement and unpaved surfaces. The exterior design is based on the new Tahoe Z71 trim, which features a rugged front grille, higher approach angle, and front skid plate.
The vehicles offer an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot and standard HD Rear Vision Camera, Rear Park Assist, and Hitch Guidance. They also have an available Rear Camera Mirror to provide a wider view behind the vehicle compared to traditional rearview mirrors. New to 2021 Tahoe police vehicles is standard keyless entry and push button ignitions, allowing officers to leave their keys on their belts for easier use.
Available active safety features include Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, and Following Distance Indicator.
The electrical system is powered by an upgraded dual battery system with emergency equipment isolation. To avoid excessive engine idling, a 760-amp auxiliary battery will allow video systems, department radios, mobile data terminals, emergency lighting, and more to operate without running the engine. A new high-output alternator is 47 percent more powerful than the 2020 model to support the continuous running of electrical equipment.
The pursuit vehicle is offered in two- and four-wheel drive, and the Special Service Vehicle is offered exclusively in four-wheel drive. These models offer a Terrain Mode, which provides performance similar to four-wheel drive low without the need of a two-speed transfer case. Special Service Vehicles also offer an available Max Trailering Package with a max-tow rating of 8,200 pounds. The package includes an active, two-speed electronic Autotrac transfer case with push-button controls and an integrated trailer brake controller.
“Tahoe is the most aspirational vehicle in the law enforcement industry,” says Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM Fleet. “By listening to the needs of officers from around the country, we have built the best Tahoe ever.”
Tahoes have been used by law enforcement since 1997, and GM organized a Law Enforcement Product Council 20 years ago to learn from officers how they can perform their duties behind the wheel. The council is comprised of law enforcement officers and civilian fleet managers.
The new vehicles will be assembled at GM’s Arlington Assembly in Texas. Availability is expected to begin in early 2021.