Running Michigan's gauntlet

Pushing the 2009 police vehicle models to the peak of their potential


     While the tests also examined BMW's R1200RTP 2008 model, the 2009 does lower the R1200's first gear in its enduro gear box — this helps minimize clutch wear from pulling away from stops and helps make low-speed pursuits, parade use and officer training easier on the bike. Also new is an optional integrated dynamic tire pressure monitoring system. This system, when installed, displays the front and rear tire psi with two color warnings. An amber warning alerts of a slow leak/loss of pressure, while a red warning alerts of a sudden decrease of pressure or urgent leak.

     The R1200 also features a traction control system which helps keep the rear wheel from spinning — synchronizing both wheels to a 2-mph difference. According to BMW, some test drivers mentioned they heard and felt this system "kicking in" when leaning into the tight corners during the motorcycle dynamic evaluations at the Chrysler Proving Grounds.

     Both police models of the R1200 and G 650 provide an anti-lock braking system standard, yet optional for the consumer models.

Best of show

     While the Michigan State Tests are designed to demonstrate the 2009 police vehicles operation potential, the top performing vehicles were not as diversified.

     With its 5.7 HEMI V8 and 370 horsepower, the Dodge Charger lead the "Top Speed" results at 146 mph — however the 2009 brochure cites its top speed at 148, see Table 2 on Page 40.

     Ahead in top speed in the motorcycle division was the BMW R1200 RTP. This 2-cylinder, 1,170-cc, 6,000-rpm high-speed motorbike was clocked at 130 mph, see Table 3 on Page 44.

     Acceleration testing concluded no surprises; once the Dodge Charger 5.7 began its sprint, no other vehicles caught up. It reached 60 mph at 5.96 seconds and 100 mph at 14.29 seconds, see Table 2 on Page 40.

     The BMW R1200 RTP met both 60 mph and 100 mph quickest. It reached 60 mph at 4.41 seconds and 100 mph at 11.27 seconds, see Table 3. In comparison, according to its Web site, the Porsche 911 Carrera S, a reported police vehicle in Germany, can hit 100 km/h (62 mph) at 4.7 seconds.

     Screeching this to a halt, 2009 brake testing revealed the Dodge Charger 3.5 with an estimated shortest stopping distance from 60 mph at 135.1 feet — a tenth of a foot shorter than its brother, the 5.7, see Table 1 on Page 38.

     While being able to brake and accelerate are important, how the machinery handles its environment with speed and maneuverability combined can have the most effect on the driver's safety. Vehicle dynamics averaged the lap times of five laps from four drivers — each driver drove each vehicle once. The Dodge Charger 5.7 had best overall average lap time of 1:37.08 seconds.

     However, the newest vehicle on Grattan concrete, the Buell Ulysses XB12XP, earned a 5:36.55-second overall average — almost a full 13 seconds over the 2008 motorcycle's best overall average, see Table 4.

     Police fleets should consider more than engine size, torque and speed, and decide whether the vehicle can meet their needs. Aside from the reported, manufacturers may offer alternative vehicles not tested in these tests. While one vehicle may succeed in one agency's gauntlet of demands, another may not.

     Editor's Note: All test results are preliminary and are subject to change upon confirmation of data with the Michigan State Police.

     Additional information on the 2009 and previous year's police vehicle evaluations can be found online at the Michigan State Police Web site www.michigan.gov/msp.

Table 1
Brake Testing Results
Speed (seconds) Ford Police Interceptor Chevrolet Impala 9C1 3.9L Chevrolet Tahoe PPV 2WD 5.3L Dodge Charger 3.5L Dodge Charger 5.7L Ford Police Interceptor (Non-published) BMW R1200RTP Harley Davidson Police Road King Harley Davidson Police Electra Glide Buell Ulysses BMW G 650 XP
Phase 1 Average Deceleration Rate 27.28 27 27.33 28.52 28.67 27.88 26.39 22.96 23.14 24.62 24.48
Phase 2 Average Deceleration Rate 27.09 26.69 26.75 28.8 28.62 27.42 26.09 22.77 24.5 24.73 25.4
Overall Average Deceleration Rate 27.19 26.84 27.04 28.66 28.65 27.65 26.24 22.87 23.82 24.68 24.94
Projected Stopping Distance from 60.0 MPH 142.4 144.2 143.2 135.1 135.2 140 147.6 169.3 162.6 156.9 155.3
Table 2
Acceleration / Top Speed Results — Vehicles
Speed Ford Police Interceptor 3.27 4.6L Ford Police Interceptor 3.55 4.6L Chevrolet Impala 9C1 3.9L Chevrolet Impala 9C1 E85 2.9L Chevrolet Tahoe PPV 2WD 5.3L Chevrolet Tahoe PPV 2WD E85 5.3L Dodge Charger 3.5L Dodge Charger 5.7L
0-20 MPH (Sec) 1.92 1.95 1.97 2.06 2.10 2.15 2.08 1.59
0-30 MPH (Sec) 3.19 3.17 3.15 3.29 3.32 3.39 3.41 2.52
0-40 MPH (Sec) 4.57 4.60 4.40 4.57 4.52 4.62 4.83 3.43
0-50 MPH (Sec) 6.56 6.64 6.08 6.27 6.31 6.39 6.58 4.54
0-60 MPH (Sec) 8.84 8.79 8.37 8.59 8.40 8.50 8.79 5.96
0-70 MPH (Sec) 11.30 11.23 10.77 11.05 10.58 10.70 11.37 7.45
0-80 MPH (Sec) 14.41 14.42 13.39 13.78 13.51 13.58 14.33 9.35
0-90 MPH (Sec) 18.49 18.70 16.86 17.40 17.80 18.03 18.55 11.71
0-100 MPH (Sec) 24.07 23.70 22.22 22.53 22.56 22.86 23.52 14.29
TOP SPEED 128 120 139 140 132 133 136 146
Table 3
Acceleration / Top Speed Results — Motorcycles
Speed BMW R1200 RTP Harley Davidson Police Road King Harley Davidson Police Electra Glide Buell Ulysses BMW G 650 XP
0-20 MPH (Sec) 1.30 1.72 1.30 1.60 1.39
0-30 MPH (Sec) 1.98 2.73 2.00 2.41 2.06
0-40 MPH (Sec) 2.62 4.20 2.83 3.20 3.07
0-50 MPH (Sec) 3.54 5.56 3.85 4.11 4.09
0-60 MPH (Sec) 4.41 7.56 5.31 5.15 5.58
0-70 MPH (Sec) 5.67 9.72 6.85 6.47 7.42
0-80 MPH (Sec) 7.15 12.91 9.09 8.15 10.16
0-90 MPH (Sec) 8.82 17.13 12.22 10.04 15.27
0-100 MPH (Sec) 11.27 30.02 28.13 13.58 N/A
TOP SPEED 130 105 104 106 101
Table 4
Dynamics Results
Vehicle Lap Time (minutes)
Chevrolet Tahoe PPV 2WD E85 5.7L SPFI 01:42.60
Chevrolet Tahoe PPV 2WD 5.7L SPFI 01:42.98
Chevrolet Impala 3.9L SPFI E85 01:42.22
Chevrolet Impala 9C1 3.9L SPFI 01:42.25
Ford Police Interceptor 3.55 4.6L SPFI 01:40.36
Ford Police Interceptor 3.27 4.6L SPFI 01:40.81
Ford Police Interceptor (Non-published) 01:41.04
Dodge Charger 5.7L SPFI 01:37.08
Dodge Charger 3.5 SPFI 01:40.35
Harley-Davidson FLHTP Electra Glide 06:14.25
Harley-Davidson FLHP Road King 06:12.23
BMW R1200 RTP 05:47.60
Buell Ulysses 05:36.55
BMW G 650 XP Challenge 05:43.08
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