With the demise of the Ford Crown Victoria in 2011, the police car market it had dominated for decades suddenly blew wide open.
Chrysler, Ford and General Motors all responded with their own alternatives to the ubiquitous Crown Vic, each with some degree of success. And they're still jockeying for position to gain what each perceives as their rightful share of the market.
Ford recently upped the ante with the addition of a non-pursuit "special service police" sedan to its law-enforcement lineup. Now Chrysler is adding an all-wheel-drive alternative.
According to Chrysler, its 2014 Dodge Charger Pursuit AWD sedan has claimed the fastest lap time ever for an all-wheel-drive police car at the Michigan State Police’s (MSP) annual Police Vehicle Evaluation held at Grattan Raceway in Belding, Michigan.
Chrysler also claims the outright lap-time record in the MSP's testing with its 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit V-8 rear-wheel-drive (RWD) model, whose lap time (1:33.70) was more than a second quicker than the AWD's (1:34.75).
Those achievements give the Dodge Charger Pursuit "the segment’s best combination of world-class technology, acceleration, braking, handling and dynamics," according to Peter Grady, Chrysler Group's vice-president responsible for fleet sales.
The AWD Dodge cruiser shares the RWD model’s 370 -horsepower Hemi V-8 and integrates it with what the company calls the most advanced AWD system in the segment.
With an active transfer case and front-axle-disconnect system, it is said to transition seamlessly between RWD and AWD operation with no driver intervention. When AWD is not required, the system automatically disconnects the front axle to maximize fuel economy, while maintaining the performance and handling characteristics inherent in rear-wheel-drive vehicles.
The Dodge Charger Pursuit AWD, which is built in Canada at Chrysler's Brampton, Ontario, assembly plant, will be available to law enforcement customers in the Spring of 2014.