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1996 Model Year Patrol Vehicle Testing

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 1995
84 pages
This report presents the results of the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center's testing of 11, 1996 police patrol vehicles.

The vehicles tested were the Chevrolet Caprice 5.7L SPFI, the Chevrolet Caprice 4.3L SPFI, the Ford Crown Victoria 4.6L MPFI, the Crown Victoria 4.6L MPFI (CNG), the Ford Crown Victoria 4.6L MPFI (Non-ABS), the Chevrolet Lumina 3.1L SPFI, the Chevrolet Camaro 5.7L SPFI (Auto), the Chevrolet Camaro 5.7L SPFI (six-speed), the Chevrolet Geo Tracker 1.6L MPFI (two-wheel drive), the Jeep Cherokee 4.0L MPFI (four-wheel drive), and the Ford Explorer 4.0L MPFI (four-wheel drive). The testing addressed vehicle dynamics; acceleration, top speed, and braking; ergonomics and communications; and fuel economy. The objective of vehicle dynamics testing was to determine high-speed pursuit or emergency handling characteristics and performance compared with the other vehicles in the test group. This involved an assessment of performance on a 1.635-mile road-racing type course with hills, curves, and corners. Acceleration testing involved determining the ability of each vehicle to accelerate from a standing start to 60 mph, 80 mph, and 100 mph within the time allowances contained in the patrol vehicle specifications. The top speed test determined each vehicle's ability to attain a speed of 110 mph within a distance of 1 mile, as well as 120 mph within a distance of 2 miles. Brake testing consisted of determining the acceptability of each vehicle's braking performance for pursuit or emergency service, i.e., the ability of a vehicle to make impending skid (threshold) stops at no less than 25.0 feet/sec, as well as its ability to make a "panic" stop within its own lane without evidence of severe brake fade. Ergonomics and communications testing rated each vehicle's ability to provide a suitable environment for the patrol officer in the performance of assigned tasks, as well as to accommodate the required communications and emergency warning equipment. In the latter case, the relative difficulty of installation was also considered. In addition to presenting comparative scores on the testing of these 1996 models, an appended chart compares the 1995 vehicles with the 1996 models.

Date Published: November 1, 1995