I know I would like to see it happen
The off-again, on-again Chevrolet Caprice nameplate could be revived after all. General Motors announced plans on Monday to bring back the Caprice name in 2011 for a line of North American police cars.
The Caprice police car would be derived from G.M.’s rear-wheel-drive Zeta architecture, which underpins the Camaro, Pontiac G8 and some Holden vehicles (badged as Chevrolets in the Middle East).
Robert A. Lutz, G.M.’s vice chairman of advertising and marketing, had suggested as recently as a couple of months ago that the G8, a critically acclaimed large sedan scheduled to die next year with the rest of the discontinued Pontiac brand, could be brought back as a Caprice in the Chevrolet line. But that idea was nixed only a few days later, when G.M.’s directors found the business case for such a vehicle wanting.
In making the announcement about the Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle, G.M. was quick to make a distinction that it would be based on no current G.M. vehicle – even though it would use a version of the Zeta chassis.
The vehicle will be marketed with V-8 and V-6 engines, and dealers will begin taking orders in the fourth quarter of 2010. Deliveries are expected in the first quarter of 2011. Prices were not announced.
Brian Goebel, a G.M. spokesman, said the company believed the Caprice “will be a significant addition to the police community.”
The rear-drive Caprice was a popular choice for law enforcement agencies until G.M. discontinued the vehicle in 1996. Since then, the rear-drive Ford Crown Victoria has been a mainstay of the police pursuit vehicle business. But the Crown Vic is being phased out in 2011; a version of the new Taurus, car offered with front drive or all-wheel drive, is expected to replace it in Ford’s offerings.
Dodge also makes a Charger, which has rear drive or all-wheel drive, for law enforcement use. A version of the Chevrolet Impala is also available for police use, but its front-wheel-drive chassis is considered less desirable, partly for handling reasons, than a rear-drive vehicle.