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New 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe PPV gets upgrades where it matters most for officers

The 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe PPV builds on the traditional Tahoe Z71 trim level.

Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

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.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe PPV 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.

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The material Jaguar Land Rover is adding to its vehicle interiors is called Econyl.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

As automaker work toward more sustainable business practices, Jaguar Land Rover is working with Econyl nylon to develop high-quality interiors made from ocean and landfill waste. The automaker promises that next-generation Jaguar and Land Rover models will feature floor mats and trims made with Econyl fiber from recycled industrial plastic, fabric offcuts from clothing manufacturers, fishing nets from the farming industry, and those abandoned in the ocean– known as 'ghost nets'.

Econyl nylon was created by Aquafil. It's already been sued in the high-end fashion, sportswear, and luxury watch industries to create handbags, backpacks, swimwear, and watch straps. In one year, the company recycles as much as 40,000 tons of waste, making it in to the nylon. For every 10,000 tonnes of Econyl raw material produced, 70,000 barrels of crude oil are saved and 65,100 tons of carbon emissions equivalent are avoided.

Jaguar Land Rover Econyl interior Jaguar Land Rover has committed to including more sustainable materials in its interiors.Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Turning to sustainable materials isn't a new idea. For years Ford has been incorporating all manner of materials into its vehicles including tomatoes, soy, and coffee chaff from McDonald's. General Motors recently showcased a breakdown of how recycled materials are used inside their automobiles.

Bentley's facility in Crewe, England is collecting rainwater for use in its office building allowing the company to not have to draw from the local water system.

Each year automakers release their sustainability report, which champions all the ways that the company is moving forward in its resources conservation plans. This year's GM report sets forth numerous goals. Among them, by 2030, 50 percent of the parts used in General Motors vehicles will be made with sustainable materials. Additionally, GM's Spring Hill plant in Tennessee will run solely on solar power by 2022.

FCA made big strides in 2019. Their 2020 sustainability report touted their 40 percent reduction in water use and 27 percent carbon footprint reduction per vehicle.

Jaguar Land Rover Econyl interior Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

This week Polestar announced that its Precept concept vehicle is headed into production. When the Precept debuted a few months ago, the company bragged about its sustainable interior.

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Cadillac will give the 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing carbon fiber seats.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac continues to tease its long-awaited Blackwing sedans. The company is using the Blackwing monknier to designate their top-performing models of the CT4 and CT5.

Those models will also wear the "V' designation and be given the full name Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT4-V Blackwing. They will both be 2022 model year vehicles.

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing testing This CT5-V Blackwing was spotted testing at Virginia International Raceway, Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac has slowly been leaking out details of the models, even as the market moves away from sedan sales. We know now know that Cadillac CT-5 Blackwing will feature racing inspired seats. According to the automaker, "The carbon fiber seat back will feature a precision book-matched design and laser-etched V-Series logo. The seats will also include other customer-centric innovations and features that will be announced at a later date."

Cadillac also confirmed that the model is a limited edition.

We already have seen a picture of the cars' interior. That photo showed a new performance steering wheel that is crafted with leather and cut-and-sewn stitching. It features a 12 o'clock red racing stripe, carbon fiber trim, and a V-Series emblem. That emblem is designed to envoke nostalgia for Cadillac's championship-winning heritage on the track. Cadillac has designed the wheel with driver ergonomics as a priority.

The new models will feature V-Mode and a Performance Traction Management system that can be accessed on the left- and right-hand side of the wheel, respectively.

Additional buttons on the steering wheel are more typical to the General Motors lineup. They feature heated steering wheel, follow distance, cruise control, phone call/Bluetooth, and volume controls.

Each V-Series Blackwing model will feature a specially tuned chassis, vehicle control technologies, and engines. The models will be offered with a manual transmission.

The CT5-V Blackwing will be available starting in summer 2021. Expect pricing to be around the $60,000 mark.

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