By the way, the 2007 Police Tahoe is a 2WD model; the four-wheel drive (4WD) version is still a modified "retail" model. Most departments classify the 4WD version as a special service vehicle, so pursuit capability is not essential.
Of course, the Police Tahoe is equipped with a heavy-duty cooling system, high capacity radiator and engine cooler, as well as heavy-duty brakes. The electrical system is beefy, too, with a 160-amp alternator, a heavy-duty battery, and extended-life spark plugs. In fact, while the engine is a 5.3-liter, the capacity of the cooling and electrical systems are matched to the specifications of a 6-liter engine. Dual batteries are an option, if your department has the money - probably almost a necessity in cold weather climates.
The Police Tahoe also has a skid plate that starts just behind the front bumper, and runs back to the first frame cross-member. After all, one reason your department has this vehicle is to access areas that are pretty much impassible.
In testing the vehicle at the General Motors Desert Proving Grounds, law enforcement drivers noted they were impressed with the stability of the vehicle, and its ability to hold the road, even when stressed in a turn. Having driven a variety of SUVs over the years, I was a little guarded during the first lap or two, but it was readily apparent that the vehicle could take a lot more. It just feels solid and controlled. Given the strong winds on test day, I expected our test drive through the low mountains would be a little rocky. Not so! The mushiness that sometimes accompanies a ride in a "comfortable" SUV just wasn't there. We seemed to really grip the roadway.
Much of what we've already discussed impacts on safety, especially the ability of the vehicle to be controlled easily during the less-than-ideal driving conditions faced by many officers. Additionally, the Police Tahoe now incorporates standard, dual-stage driver and front passenger airbags. As an option, departments can add roof-mounted head curtain side airbags, with rollover protection for all occupants.
Don't forget the safety advantages of the larger vehicle. The 2007 Police Tahoe frame is designed to be stiffer, and will absorb energy very efficiently, reducing the degree of "crush" experienced by the front seat passenger compartment.
Other good stuff
This vehicle has a huge transport capacity, with approximately 60 cubic feet of cargo room. Fold down the second row seats, and that rises to almost 110 cubic feet. Given that many departments will classify the Police Tahoe as a special service vehicle, this cargo capacity is sure to be important in many regards.
Because the Police Tahoe was designed from the ground up as a police vehicle, engineers were able to address a common source of frustration - the vehicle's wiring harness. The Tahoe is wired with a standard harness, similar to that of the Chevrolet Impala patrol vehicle. This allows for more standardization of ancillary equipment, and should reduce installation and maintenance costs.
The vehicle comes standard with electric seats for both front seat passengers, and each front seat is equipped with a lumbar support. Lots of head room, and plenty of room for mounted gear translates to a comfortable passenger compartment for long night shifts.
All in all, Chevrolet has put forward a pretty nice package with the 2007 Police Tahoe. While the vehicle's size might make it difficult for the average "big city" department to adopt as a standard patrol vehicle, there will certainly be many uses for it in special service roles. And, for those of us that face winter's annual blasts, or who work in challenging terrain, the 2007 Police Tahoe looks to be the ideal vehicle.