The biggest drawbacks with the current generation Chevrolet Tahoe PPV aren’t its massive size of fuel inefficiency. It’s the suspension and handling, both of which are nearly a decade old, and showing it. Modern vehicle dynamics have come a long way in the last 10 years. or so and the Tahoe, like the Chevrolet Suburban, Cadillac Escalade, and GMC Yukon, were all built on a platform that has been aged out of competition with more modern SUVs like the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.
Chevy’s lucky Ford doesn’t make a pursuit-rated Expedition.
With the introduction of the next-generation Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban already in hand, it was only a matter of time before the next-gen Tahoe PPV and SSV would be shown. That day has arrived.
Chevy has given the Tahoe PPV a complete top-to-bottom redo.Photo courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV) is the swift kick in the pants that the product line needed. The exterior design of the new model is based on the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Z71 trim, which features a rugged front grille, higher approach angle, and front skidplate.
The Tahoe PPV comes in two- and four-wheel drive configurations, while the Special Service Vehicle (SSV) comes only with 4WD. Four-wheel drive models get a Terrain drive mode, which performs similarly to 4LO without needing a two-speed transfer case.
Tahoe SSV model are offered with the available Max Trailering Package, which ups the limit to 8,200 pounds and includes an active, two-speed electronic Autotrac transfer case with push-button controls and an integrated trailer brake controller.
It’s powered by a 5.3-liter V8 engine that is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. General Motors engineers have designed the engine to be better during high lateral conditions meaning whether it’s taking on the banked steeps at Daytona or chasing a suspect on a winding road, the engine should perform dramatically better in this Tahoe than the last.
It’s not uncommon for Tahoe PPVs to run nearly constantly during an officer’s shift. This SUV’s engine is cooled by a dedicated, heavy-duty cooling system that was designed specifically for law enforcement applications.
Each Tahoe PPV has police action specific equipment and suspension turning including unique monotube dampers, coil springs, and stabilizer bars. The SUV’s ride height is lower than the Tahoe the general public gets from their dealership.
The model rides on pursuit-rated all-season Bridgestone Firestone Firehawk Pursuit tires that are worn by 20-inch steel wheels. Chevry has equipped the model with a heavy-duty braking system and heavy-duty limited slip rear differential. Stopping distance has been improved in the new model by 11 feet compared to the 2020 model. That’s not insignificant.
The reason many police departments got out of the typical patrol car and into patrol SUVs is interior space. The new Tahoe PPV offers class-leading interior space including more hip room in the front row – an essential consideration as police duty belts frequently add several inches to the waist of even the slimmest officer.
The Tahoe PPV has 18.3 cubic feet more cargo space than the Ford Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility. That makes sense as the Tahoe is designed to be a full-size SUV compared to the Explorer’s midsize designation.
The SUV’s rear doors open 3.5 inches wider in the new model, allowing offers the ability to more easily move offenders in and out of the area.
Chevrolet has designed the Tahoe PPV to be a true mobile workspace. There’s an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot (many officers currently rely on aftermarket accessories to connect their computers on the go), standard rearview camera, Rear Park Assist, hitch guidance technology, available rear camera mirror, keyless entry, and push-button ignition.
The model also comes with an available suite of safety and driver assistance technology including forward collision warning, lane keep assist with departure warning, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, and the following distance indicator.
Chevy’s engineers have improved the electrical architecture of the Tahoe from the current generation to the next by ensuring that the model is more uplifting-ready. According to a release, ” 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. 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.”
Like other PPVs, the electrical system is powered by an upgraded dual battery system. A 760-amp auxiliary battery can operate without the engine running. The SUV’s new high-output alternator is 47 percent more powerful than the 2020 model’s.
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. Pricing is expected to be similar to the 2020 model.