Patrol vehicle evaluations

Preliminary results of the Michigan State Police Precision Driving Unit Patrol Evaluations

From September 17 to 20, the Michigan State Police Vehicle Evaluations put each new patrol vehicle model through its paces. Leading the team again was Lt. Keith Wilson whose tests pushed the vehicles’ engineering to the limit and buried every needle so officers know what to expect from their vehicle if ever deemed necessary..

Tests included acceleration, top speed, brake and dynamics. As in previous years acceleration, top speed and brake testing were conducted at the Chrysler Proving Grounds in Chelsea. Motorcycle brake testing was conducted at the Precision Driving Unit at the Michigan State Police Training Academy in Lansing, Mich. This year brought a twist in the dynamic high speed handling: both vehicle and motorcycle tests were conducted at the Grattan Raceway in Grattan, Mich.

Participating vehicles included four Dodge Chargers in two different axel ratios, two Chevrolet Caprices, a Chevrolet Impala with a new engine, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford’s full Police Interceptor line-up of sedans and utilities. Evaluated motorcycles included the BMW R 1200, Kawasaki Concours 14, the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide and Road King and, new at this year’s event, the Victory Commander I and Vision.

Also new was the NIJ-funded look at aftermarket tires. This involved five different vehicle platforms in a whopping 17 different tire combinations. Brands included Cooper, Firestone, Goodyear, Nitto, Nokeen and Porelli.

Tires were put through a rigorous method of a set of five dry asphalt 60 mph to 0 mph stops, five on a wet skid pad at 35 mph to 0 mph then five more 40 mph to 0 mph stops on wet asphalt braking in a turn. Afterward the test team conducted a 300-foot radius steady-state turn and what Wilson calls “a wear sequence.”

He explains: “We’d run 50 hot laps around our one-mile road course counter clockwise, 50 laps clockwise and then repeated the tests (dry, wet skid and wet-brake in turn) … then we were able to compare how a new tire performed against a worn tire.”

Once available these tire test results should be found through the Justice Technology Information Network website, [UPDATE: Editor's Note: "2011 Police Vehicle Tire Evaluation" are available online.]

The following results are preliminary. For official results please visit the Michigan State Police website at, keyword: “Police Vehicle Evaluation.”

Top Performers

BMW R1200 RTP:
Best Motrocycle Lap Average with 1:40.19 minutes
Top Speed for Motorcycles at 131 mph 

Harley-Davidson Electra Glide (FLHTP):
Shortest Braking Distance at 139 feet

Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS:
Quickest Motorcycle Acceleration to BOTH 60 mph and 100 mph (4.02 seconds, 8.29 seconds respectivly)

Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3L:
The same highest Top Speed for SUVs reaching 139 mph

Chevrolet's Caprice 6L:
Shortest Braking Distance at 125.8 feet
Highest Sedan Top Speed at 154 mph

Ford Utility 3.7L FWD:
SUVs Shortest  Braking Distance at 128.4 feet

Ford Utility 3.7L AWD:
Best SUV Lap Average - 1:40.3 minutes
Best Acceleration to 60 mph and 100 mph in 7.75 seconds and 19.94 seconds (respectivly) 

Dodge Charger 5.7L:
Quickest Sedan Lap Average at 1:34.39 minutes
Quickest Sedan Acceleration with the 3.06 axel ratio with 5.83 seconds to 60 mph and 13.65 seconds to 100 mph 



  • NEW: dual overhead camshaft cylinder head and optimized exhaust system to boost torque with mid-grade fuel, requiring less maintenance
  • NEW: cruise lights and alley lights as standard
  • The saddlebag lid color is now black on the popular two-tone black and white color scheme
  • NEW: handlebar controls and switch gear provide more functions as standard equipment
  • Improved fairing and windshield design for greater rider comfort
  • NEW: instrument cluster cover for reduced glare/reflections

MSRP: $18,705

  • Projected Stopping Distance from 60 mph: 140 feet
  • Dynamic Test Lap Average: 1:40.19 minutes BEST MOTORCYCLE LAP AVERAGE
  • To 60 mph: 4.41 seconds
  • To 100 mph: 10.75 seconds
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