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New Chevrolet Caprice off limits for civilians

Drive it like you stole it. Just once I’d like to do that. But I’m a law-abiding citizen, with a clear understanding that I would not thrive well in a prison setting.

Drive it like you stole it. Just once I’d like to do that. But I’m a law-abiding citizen, with a clear understanding that I would not thrive well in a prison setting.

The next best thing, I guess, would be piloting a police car engaged in the pursuit of a runaway stolen car.

But that won’t happen either, because I’m not a police officer now, and will never be one in the future. (Can’t do “blue.” Not one of my colours.)

But recently I did get to drive a police car and now I want one badly, even if it’s just for civilian-type activities, like going for coffee and donuts. Wait a minute — that might be police work too ... Well, you know what I mean.

The vehicle in question is the brand new Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV).

Police forces prefer full-size, rear-drive sedans, with V8 engines. Chevrolet hasn’t had one of those in its lineup since 1996, which allowed Ford Crown Victoria to dominate the police market.

But now the Ford Crown Victoria is done too. Ford’s new police vehicle, the Interceptor, is based on the front-drive Taurus. GM continues to offer its front-drive Impala PPV.

But as all other front-drive police units before and since, it has never been the recipient of full blown police love.

Ford is hoping to have more front-drive police luck with its Interceptor, but I’m not so sure. And I think GM is of that mind too, and has finally understood how profoundly police forces are attached to their rear-drive cruisers.

GM developed this Caprice specifically for police work, and will only sell the Caprice to police forces. It is based on a rear-drive platform developed and built by Holden, GM’s subsidiary in Australia. Holden also used this platform to build the now-defunct Pontiac G8.

My fling with Caprice PPV was with a “detective” version, meaning no lights, or back seat partition, or police signage.

But its understated looks — pavement grey on the outside, no-nonsense black on the inside — contributed to its “sleeper” vibe, which I so love.

It comes with heavy-duty everything, and a 6.0-litre V8 that makes 355 horsepower, and it accelerates to 60 m.p.h. (96 km/h) in under six seconds.

So GM has inadvertently created a super-cool ride, and part of its coolness comes from the fact that you can’t buy one.

You can buy a Ferrari 458 Italia, but not a Caprice PPV.

Maybe we’ll see a special “civilian” version at some point. Please do that ... Go ahead, make my day.

 
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