Photos: Courtesy of Chrysler Group Fleet Operations
Quick: Name a four-door 2014 Dodge that’s badder than our dear, beloved BAD COP.
If you said the Dodge Charger Pursuit, you’re right. But there’s more Mopar-engineered “badness” coming for it come spring. That’s when an all-wheel-drive version hits the streets, and a high(er)-performance brake system joins the option list—both of which are making their presence known in the annual Michigan State Police (MSP) vehicle-evaluation tests.
Since 1978, MSP’s demanding test program has determined which vehicles perform the best under conditions simulating real-world patrol and pursuit situations, as well as to evaluate their serviceability, interior ergonomics, and other factors that fleet managers look at.
In the 2014 MSP vehicle-evaluation testing, the Chargers are making their presence known. The AWD version set a single-lap record on Michigan’s Grattan Raceway of 1:33.85—and a best average lap time of 1:34.75 on the hilly, twisting, two-mile road course. (The complete 2014 test is available online at www.michigan.gov/msp)
“Chrysler Group offers those who protect and serve us with the best pursuit-rated sedans in the business.”—Peter Grady, Vice President of Network Development and Fleet, Chrysler Group LLC.
“With the record-holding rear-wheel drive Dodge Charger Pursuit and now the fastest-ever recorded all-wheel drive model, Chrysler Group offers those who protect and serve us with the best pursuit-rated sedans in the business,” says Peter Grady, who’s Chrysler’s Vice President of Network Development and Fleet. “And, with the only test cars achieving lap times less than 1:34, Dodge Charger Pursuit highlights the segment’s best combination of world-class technology, acceleration, braking, handling and dynamics.”
That’s the result of a lot of time in the lab, on the test track, and input from law-enforcement professionals from coast to coast on Dodge’s Police Advisory Board.
Thanks to them, ’14 Charger Pursuits got improvements like police-specific Secure Park, which prevents an idling vehicle from being driven without the key fob present; a revised rear fascia and exhaust tips, to further enhance Charger’s pursuit capability when crossing highway medians; a rear-suspension camber link change that enhances high-speed and aggressive braking performance; and an upgraded fuel pump and variable-displacement A/C compressor (for durability and efficiency).
Top that with the new hardware like the high-performance brake system, which replaces the 13.6-inch-diameter front rotors with 14.5-inch-diameter ones, increases the swept area of both front and rear calipers—and (per preliminary MSP test data) haul it down from 60-0 in about 127 feet.
Then there’s the AWD system.
All-wheel-drive 2014 Charger Pursuits feature an active transfer case and front-axle-disconnect system, which lets it seamlessly switch from rear-drive to all-wheel-drive while the driver keeps both hands on the steering wheel, and eyes on the road. When AWD isn’t needed, it switches back to rear-drive to maximize fuel economy while, as Ma Mopar says, “…still providing the outstanding performance and handling inherent in rear-wheel-drive vehicles.” (Especially Hemi-powered ones.)
What does this mean? How about more reasons to never outrun or out-maneuver one, and more reasons to keep your eyes peeled for these once they start hitting the used-car market (as “gently-used” former demonstrators—like BAD COP was--as well as de-commissioned patrol cars).
How do they compare with classic B-Body and C-Body Mopar squads of the past? Very well—these new ones combine engineered-in toughness that all Mopar squads have had since the mid-1950s with 21st Century powertrain and chassis tech and performance that bests not only those classic squads’ 0-60 and ¼-mile times, but those of many muscle-era civilian Mopars as well.
In short, Elwood Blues would love it.
2014 Dodge Charger Pursuit
Engine: A choice of two Cop Engines—a heavy-duty 3.6L Pentastar V6 that’s rated at 290 hp, or the latest heavy-duty 5.7L Hemi, factory-rated at 370 hp. (AWD will be available only with the Hemi.)
Transmission: Heavy-duty WA580 five-speed automatic, with AutoStick and a dash-mounted shift lever.
Rear: A choice of rear gear sets (2.65:1 or 3.07:1), but all-speed traction control comes on all Pursuits
Suspension: Cop Suspension, 21st Century heavy-duty, load-leveling style: (Front) Independent short-long arm design with hydrobushing and monotube shocks (Rear) Multi-link independent with roll-steer geometry, NIVOMAT shocks, and a rear sway bar
Brakes: Cop Brakes: Standard 4-wheel discs (with 13.5 inch front rotors and 13.8-inch rear ones) with ABS Electronic Stability Control, Ready Alert Braking, Rain Brake Support and Brake/Park Interlock; optional big brake package (with 14.5-inch front rotors) due this spring.
Wheels/Tires: Cop Tires: 225/60R18 blackwalls--Firestones standard with the V6; Goodyears standard with the Hemi--on 18 x 7 inch wheels. (5-spoke aluminum wheels available with the Street Appearance package.)
Paint/Body: LX-Body four-door unibody reinforced at key locations for extra strength; available in nine standard colors and six special-production colors (like MSP Blue).
Interior: Heavy-duty front buckets that’ll comfortably hold even the biggest patrol officers in place for an eight hour shift; rear seat available in cloth or vinyl, options include full-length console, a choice of multimedia systems including Uconnect, and deactivated rear doors and windows.