This weekend, March 3-4, 2012, the new Dodge Charger Pursuit vehicle will pace the NASCAR Nationwide and Sprint Cup races at Phoenix International Raceway. The event will showcase the new high performance pursuit vehicle before thousands of Valley fans and in television coverage nationwide.
Dodge is using the opportunity to show off the new Charger Pursuit with the backdrop of more than 62 years of history in the stock car racing world. The new redesigned 2012 Charger Pursuit has increased competition this year from both Ford and Chevrolet and this event will no doubt help Dodge get their product in the minds of police chiefs across the country.
“Phoenix marks our new track-proven Dodge Charger Pursuit’s inaugural pace car weekend, while highlighting the fastback sedan’s benchmark levels of performance and the Dodge brand’s 62nd year of NASCAR racing heritage,” said Peter Grady, Vice President of Network Development and Fleet, Chrysler Group LLC. “With its rear-wheel-drive design, best-in-class V-8 power, up to 27 highway mpg, six available Mopar factory-installed police packages and the fastest lap time ever recorded during Michigan State Police’s annual evaluation tests – Dodge Charger Pursuit can get it done protecting the streets and leading on the track.”
The 2012 Charger Pursuit can be outfitted with a best-in-class 370 horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 or the still quite powerful standard mill, a 292 horsepower V-6. While the car shares most of its parts with civilian issue Dodge Chargers, the Pursuit has many engineering enhancements to make it perform better on duty as well as endure the tough punishment our law enforcers meat out.
Handling is enhanced with a performance-tuned suspension, load-leveling Nivomat shocks, larger vented-disc brakes, front- and rear-stabilizer bars, and18-inch tires on steel wheels. There is also a special two-mode police-specific Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
Because of the electronic equipment police departments require, there’s a heavy duty power distribution center with its own cooling system in the trunk. Engine cooling capacity is increased along with interior modifications to make room for tactical equipment and firearms too.
The Dodge Charger Pursuit stands apart from Ford’s new Police Interceptor offerings in that it features rear-wheel-drive. The Ford Taurus and Explorer based pursuit vehicles are built from a front-wheel drive architecture but offer all-wheel drive as an option. Chevrolet has a new Caprice rear-wheel drive pursuit car coming soon courtesy of their Australian Holden division.
Dodge says the HEMI V8 Charger Pursuit can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds and 0-100 in 13.6 seconds. While there are some high performance cars on the street that can outrun that, it’s still one tough pursuit vehicle to shake for most. We imagine however the NASCAR drivers in Phoenix this weekend won’t have any trouble keeping up with it.