New Model News

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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Larger tires headline the upgrades.

Jeep

The off-road wars are heating up. This year alone, we've seen the new Ford Bronco, Rivian's R1T electric pickup truck, new off-road models of the Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, and Chevrolet Silverado, and more rugged versions of the Subaru Outback and Forester. Jeep, already deep in the game, doesn't need to do much to bolster its off-road offering, but the brand is doing just that for 2022. The automaker is offering a new Xtreme Recon Package for the Wrangler Willys SUV, which brings more capability and style to the boxy off-roader.

Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package The package can be ordered for Wrangler Willys models later this year. Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package

Beyond beefy 35-inch tires tires, the Wrangler Willys with Xtreme Recon Package gets a 1.5-inch factory lift, a 4.56:1 axle ratio, 17-inch wheels and swing gate reinforcement. Jeep says those improvements give the Willys best-in-class approach and departure angles, ground clearance, and water fording capability. Approach angle improves to 47.4 degrees, breakover angle improves to 26.7 degrees, and departure angle jumps to 40.4 degrees. The extra ride height also pushes ground clearance to 12.9 inches and the water fording depth to 33.6 inches.

The package's 35-inch tires make the Willys Jeep's third Wrangler model with hardcore rolling stock. It joins the Wrangler Rubicon and Wrangler Rubicon 392 in the 35-inch club, all of which can be equipped with the tires directly from the factory.

Jeep Wrangler Willys Xtreme Recon Package A factory lift helps improve ground clearance and capability.Jeep

The Xtreme Recon Package can be ordered starting in October and will be available for the Jeep Wrangler Willys with 3.6-liter eTorque engine. The package adds $3,995 to the Wrangler Willys' price tag, which brings the total starting price to $40,930, including a $1,495 destination charge.

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Buying guide

How to buy a modified car: Three tips

This is a clean modified truck, but they don't all end up this way.

Bring a Trailer

Modified cars are a mixed bag. Sometimes, they're incredibly well built and better than the original, but too many times they're only partially finished or end up being rushed as their owners get late-project anxiety. Whatever the case, buying a modified car can be a stressful process if you haven't done your homework ahead of time. The good news is that you can get a good deal on a reasonably well sorted project or modified car, but you'll need to be careful. Looking at used Lexus LXs earlier today, it became clear that there are as many modified vehicles for sale as there are clean examples.

This LX got me thinking about the breakdown between buying a rig and building one. The modifications made by this Lexus' seller are almost exactly what I would do if I were building a light overlanding rig. What could go wrong? I'm still on the fence about the Lexus, but the three topics below will help you make the right decision on buying a modified car.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Even if the mods are well done, you'll want to have the vehicle inspected before you buy.Bring a Trailer

Understand your personal taste

I mentioned the LX470 and how the owner's updates were pretty close to what I'd do with the truck. That's an exception to the rule, because 90 percent of the time I walking away from a sales listing because of modifications, rather than the other way around. If you're hoping to find a tastefully modified car that matches your exact tastes, you could be waiting a while. If you're hoping to sell a modified car, the same is true in reverse. Finding a buyer for your extremely personalized project car may not be the easiest thing you've ever done.

2004 Lexus LX 470 It's a good idea to seek out vehicles in solid shape, regardless of mods.Bring a Trailer

Be aware of condition and quality

This Lexus looks to be well maintained and in good shape. It also doesn't hurt that the LX is one of the most reliable vehicles built by one of the world's most quality-conscious automakers. Even so, it's hard to know what you're getting with this, or any other, modified vehicle. There's a little rust in this image, but the lift kit, wheels, and bumper mods all look good. However, even if the truck looked brand-new, you'd want to get a pre-purchase inspection. An independent mechanic can tell you if there are potential issues that are unrelated to mods, and you'll want to be sure that any modifications are installed properly.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Some mods are more useful than others.Bring a Trailer

Keep an eye on the price

Most people are reasonable when it comes to selling their modified cars, but there are hundreds of "I know what I got" memes on the internet for a reason. Some sellers want to recover every penny of the money they spent customizing their cars. They're convinced that the mods drastically increased the car's value and can't understand why the customized car isn't as attractive to you as it is to them. Tread lightly and be careful not to insult the owner, but it's your job to work toward a reasonable, fair price.

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