Chevy’s new Tahoe police cars include beefed-up off-road capabilities and wider doors to fit handcuffed passengers

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle. Chevrolet
  • The Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle and Special Service Vehicle are based on the 2021 Chevy Tahoe.
  • The rear doors open 3.5 inches wider for loading handcuffed people more easily.
  • The towing package has a tow-rating of 8,200 pounds.
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The headlights on the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe are ones you’re going to want to remember because Chevy just beefed up the new Tahoe for its Police Pursuit Vehicle and Special Service Vehicle offerings.

Chevrolet announced details of the new pursuit vehicles on Tuesday, and they don’t sound like something you’d want in your rearview mirror. The vehicles have all kinds of upgrades to make them suitable for on- or off-road pursuits, including performance-oriented modifications from Chevy’s meanest version of the Camaro.

Both police Tahoe models use a 5.3-litre V8 that’s matched with a 10-speed automatic transmission, according to the company, and there are also “Tahoe police-specific front seats” that offer more hip room so utility belts can fit more comfortably.

The rear doors open 13% wider – which works out to 3.5 inches – than the outgoing generation to “ease the loading of handcuffed passengers,” which, thank the gods for that.

The SUVs also come with a pursuit-rated, all-season tire from Bridgestone, called the Firestone Firehawk Pursuit. Those are wrapped around 20-inch steel wheels that Chevy says have shortened the 2021 model’s stopping distance from 62 mph to zero by 11 feet over the 2020 model.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle 100
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle. Chevrolet

In particular, the Police Pursuit Vehicle is two- or four-wheel drive and uses rocker covers from the Chevy Camaro ZL1 LT4 V8 engine, which help to better crankcase ventilation. Chevy claims this gives the 2021 Tahoe the ability to “handle high lateral conditions” better than the outgoing model.

The PPV also has specialised suspension tuning that cuts down on body roll, which is a fancy way of describing how much a vehicle leans as it takes a corner, and increases driver confidence when “executing police-type manoeuvres.” The ride height has also been lowered, for speed, and Chevrolet gave the brakes a big upgrade for maximum stoppage.

The company notes the four-wheel-drive Special Service Vehicle, on the other hand, is more off-road focused than ever and can fulfil towing needs where speed isn’t required. The Max Trailering Package has a maximum tow rating of 8,200 pounds, which is around where the regular Tahoe tops out.

The 2021 Tahoe PPV and SSV will be built at General Motors’ Arlington Assembly plant in Texas later this year and availability is set for early next year.