Chevrolet has been offering up Tahoe police vehicles since 1997 when the first Pursuit-Rated Package was introduced. Soon after, General Motors organized an official Law Enforcement Product Council 20 years ago to get a better feel from officers on what they’re looking for in a police vehicle. The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe PPV is the culmination of that consolidated knowledge and effort.
The exterior for both variants is based on the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71, which features a rugged front grille, higher approach angle and front skidplate.
For law enforcement, the 2021 Tahoe is available in two law enforcement packages. First is the Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle (pictured), which can be had in either 2WD or 4WD, and is designed for high speed pursuits and to be comfortable for hours on the beat. Then there’s the 4WD-only Special Service Vehicle is more focused on off-road and towing, as offers the 8,200-pound Max Trailering Package. 4WD Tahoes will also offer a Terrain Mode, which provides performance similar to 4WD Low without the need of a two-speed transfer case. We can see the DNR or USDA ordering these by the train full.
Powertrain, Brakes And Suspension
Both the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe PPV and Tahoe SSV models utilize GM’s 5.3L V8 paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. But the PPV engine features a little bit of extra performance upgrades, utilizing high-performance rocker covers from the LT4 found in the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. These rocker covers improve crankcase ventilation, allowing the 2021 Tahoe to handle high lateral conditions better than its predecessor. Engine oil and transmission fluid are cooled by dedicated, heavy-duty cooling systems specific for law enforcement applications. The speedometer is certified at 140 miles per hour.
Then there are the tires. Chevrolet and Bridgestone collaborated to develop a pursuit-rated all-season tire, branded as the Firestone Firehawk Pursuit. Chevrolet says that these new tires saw testing a multiple race tracks, and reduce stopping distance by 11 feet on dry surfaces from 62-0 mph. They exclusively mounted to a 20-inch steel wheel, paired with heavy-duty Brembo six-piston aluminum monoblock calipers on 16-inch rotors.
The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe PPV also features specific suspension tuning. It features a lowered ride height compared to civilian Tahoes, unique monotube dampers, coil springs and stabilizer bars to reduce body roll. A heavy-duty clutch-type limited slip differential will help the PPV power out of the turn.
Technology and Interior Improvements
The all-new ground up design of the 2021 Tahoe PPV otherwise enjoys the same improvements as the civilian model. 2021 Tahoe police vehicles offer 70.3 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the second-row seat, which is 18.3 cubic feet more than the Ford Explorer PPV. K-9 units will probably like this news. Meanwhile, rear door openings are now 13 percent (3.5 inches) wider than the previous generation. Which, as Chevy says, will help “ease the loading of handcuffed passengers.”
Just the same as the civilian SUV, the 2021 Tahoe PPV and SSV will also feature a push-button ignition, OnStar 4G LTE hotspot, standard HD Rear Vision Camera and Rear Park Assist, standard Hitch Guidance, and an available Rear Camera Mirror for improved visibility of surroundings.
Active safety driving features are also shared with the civilian vehicle. These include Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking and a Following Distance Indicator.
The electrical architecture of the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe PPV has been improved to reduce time and complexity of upfitting. According to Chevrolet, a new standard blunt-cut wire harness has 31 wire circuits to the cockpit, 56 wire circuits to the cargo area and 25 shared circuits to connect aftermarket equipment without removing major panels or components. Police Pursuit Vehicle upfitters can repurpose the steering wheel-mounted buttons using the blunt-cut wires to perform tasks like initiating a Code 3 with lights and sirens or keying a department radio microphone. The electrical system is powered by an upgraded dual battery system with emergency equipment isolation to meet the unique needs of police.
To avoid excessive engine idling, a 760-amp auxiliary battery will allow video systems, department radios, mobile data terminals, emergency lighting and more to operate without running the engine. A new high-output alternator is 47 percent more powerful than the 2020 model to support the continuous running of electrical equipment.
The 2021 Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle and the Special Service Vehicle will be assembled at General Motors’ Arlington Assembly in Texas with globally-sourced parts in late 2020 with availability beginning early 2021.