What's coming 'round the bend

There were many familiar faces, the reliability of the Crown Victoria, the aggressiveness of the Charger, the unmistakable thunder of Harley-Davidson. New this year, as I’m sure you’ve heard, are new developments from Ford Motors, General...

Replacement Brake Pads — The MSP were contacted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center to conduct an evaluation on replacement brake pads; previously published last nine years ago in 2001. This test was ultimately intended to provide an evaluation to a select number of friction pad materials and the vehicle's original equipment (O/E) brake pad and rotors. To "limit" this field, MSP and Greening Testing Laboratories, Inc. (an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory) - who assisted at no-cost to the MSP - sent a solicitation to 28 friction material manufacturers offering a "severe duty" product.

It quickly became apparent to Chuck Greening, Jr., President of Greening Testing Laboratories, Inc. that testing on all brake pads available for the police fleets was next to impossible given the time constraints. Alleviating this issue, the labs then provided a screening tool to "whittle the field." This was Stage 1 of a three stage process.

This "prescreening" was tested to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 135, (FMVSS 135), Greening Labs submitted double blind results to MSP, top performing brake pad candidates for each vehicle application were chosen and continued to Stage 2.

According to the completed report "2010 Aftermarket Brake Pad Evaluation," "not all submitted aftermarket candidate brake pads were able to meet the minimum requirements of FMVSS 135 and were, therefore, removed from the pool of eligible test candidates."

"The only names [manufacturer and brand] that will be made public ... are those manufacturers whose pads scored well enough in the screening process of Stage 1 to move onto Stage 2," says Wilson.

With the O/E as a control for each vehicle, Stage 2 included two series of ten measured 60 mph to 0 straight line full ABS stops separated by a cool down sequence. Stage 3 involved six measured 125 mph to 0 mph straight-line full ABS stops, each stop with a 4.5-mile cool down lap.

The models

BMW - Surprisingly alone in BMW's camp is the BMW R1200 RTP. Previously the 2010 model program included the G650 motorcycle. Frank Stevens, BMW's Authority Program Manager reports that there were no changes from last year.

The R1200, however, includes a newly designed cylinder head providing a more efficient combustion for a slight increase in torque, a servo operated exhaust valve in the muffler exhaust system and a slight facelift to the faring side panels and the windshield mounting to add a bit more protection for open-faced helmet riders. Also brand new for the 2011 model are new hand levers and switch controls.

"The rest of the bike is basically, from seat to back, is identical [to the 2010 model]," says Stevens.

BMW knows high speed. The company also manufactures the super sport bike, the S1000RR - the fastest production motorcycle in the world, according to Stevens. To compare, MSP reports the 2011 R1200 tops out at 127 mph, the S1000RR runs over 180 mph - special training is provided by BMW.

Further information on BMW's offerings can be found at www.bmwmc.net, best viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Chrysler/DodgeInformation regarding the 2011 Dodge Charger has not been released at the time of this article's writing.

However, Chrysler had announced the new 2011 Dodge Charger Pursuit model August 2010. According to the Chrysler Web site, "This vehicle features a redesigned interior and exterior while offering advantages in safety and capability from extensive structural enhancements including the use of high-strength steels and Unibody construction, to its rear-wheel drive configuration. For standard power it boasts the all-new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 VVT mated to a 5-speed AutoStick transmission."

Further information on this vehicle can be found at www.fleet.chrysler.com.

Ford Motor Co. - With the ending of the Crown Victoria line in 2011, like a phoenix the Police Interceptor brand doesn't disappear in the rear-view mirror. Ford has "evolved" its Interceptor with a sedan (for a direct replacement) as well as a new SUV utility version - further information on this can be found on Page 46. And recently announced is a new undercover Interceptor with a design inspiration from the SR-71 "Blackbird" stealth airplane. 

Having to follow the Crown Victoria, Ford focuses on safety, durability and performance for its next generation Police Interceptors. While both versions are built from the same platform (the very same platform is used on the new 2011 Explorer, Lincoln MKT and MKS, and the Taurus) the mechanical underpinnings are world's apart - the Taurus and Explorer also share their sheet metal with the respective Interceptors. 

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