In 2009, the Chrysler controlled 18% of the police car market, totaling approximately 40,000 vehicle sales per year. The market is currently in upheaval, as Ford renovates its lineup and Chevy prepares to enter the fray. Dodge, Chrysler’s subsidiary, plans to come out ahead with the 2011 Charger Pursuit, a hulking vehicle with an impressive array of police paraphernalia. But – to phrase it frankly – can Dodge make a car that’s ready to take a beating?
The Pursuit comes with an E85-capable base 3.6-liter PentaStar V6 engine; a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is optional and recommended. Dodge suspects the V6 will generate at least 290-hp and attain at least a combined 25 mpg. The V8’s claim to fame is a rollicking 0-60 dash of approximately six seconds and an impressive amount of torque. A Multi-Displacement System (MDS) increases fuel economy. Speed is usually regulated to 150-mph, but a special 129-mph regulator is available. A five-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard.
Rough driving is standard for the Highway Patrol. Thus, Dodge equipped the RWD Charger Pursuit with high performance 4-wheel ABS ceramic disk brakes and Brake Assist. The car races on high performance 18-inch wheels and utilizes a specially-tuned suspension with load leveling and a rear stabilizer bar. A severe-duty cooling system allows officers to tax their cars to the limit without endangering the safety of their engines.
Violent driving requires safety, so Dodge installed a variety of features. Front/side driver/passenger and rollover-sensing curtain airbags are standard, along with Electronic Stability Control, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Hill Start Assist. Passive systems include a monocoque construction and reinforced pillars.
Dodge treats its police offers to a posh professional experience. A Police Interface Module regulates varying functions and a red/white LED interior assists with night vision. Police duty front seats and a security alarm complete the accoutrements.
Based on specs alone, the Dodge Charger Pursuit should make criminals “stop in panic.” But Dempsey is not yet down, and Tunney has a sordid history. Next round, coming up.