2011 Dodge Charger goes on police patrolTue, 24 Aug 2010
Fans of the iconic Dodge Charger muscle sedan have been eagerly awaiting details on the upgrades for the 2011 model year. And today, this latest hunk of Mopar muscle is being revealed in its most buttoned-down form--the police package.
Just one fairly vague picture has been revealed, but as expected, the Charger will get Chrysler's Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine. Ratings haven't been released, but the engine makes 290 hp in the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee. We also get our first official glimpse of the Charger's slightly more sinister front end, which is similar to what we've seen in spy shots. Most significantly, the nose and headlights appear sharper and more pointed, though the Charger retains the basic look of the current car.
The police package gets special suspension tuning, heavy-duty brakes, front and rear stabilizer bars, steel wheels wrapped in 18-inch performance tires, and a two- mode electronic stability-control system unique to the pursuit package. The front and rear multilink suspension geometry was redesigned. The Hemi V8 is also available.
Other cop exclusives include an interface module for equipment, patrol-spec seats, a column-mounted automatic transmission and red and white LED interior lighting for night vision.
Though this is one of the first official glimpses of the 2011 Charger, its value as a police car can't be understated. Chrysler once was a major player in providing patrol vehicles for officers but has since ceded the market mainly to Ford. But the Blue Oval is replacing the Crown Victoria, with a police sedan based on the all-wheel-drive Taurus with an available EcoBoost V6. That potentially creates an opportunity for Chrysler to re-establish itself among officers with the rear-drive Charger, which is more in line with traditional police cars. The current Charger remains popular with forces.
The car launched in 2005 for the 2006 model year and has received only subtle changes since then, The police version is available for order in September.
By Greg Migliore