Chevrolet Impala 9C1|
The 2000-2003 Chevrolet Impala borrows the name of its more illustrious ancestors, but has nothing else in common with them. While the '94-'96 Impala SS was a huge rear-wheel-drive hot rod sedan, the current Impala is a smaller front-wheel-drive underpowered family sedan. The 9C1 police version has only recently been added to their police line-up, which adds mandatory police upgrades but does nothing to address the power deficiency. A brand new Impala SS version is due in 2003 as an '04 model, which may make it to the 9C1 line-up soon afterwards.
The 9C1 police version Impala can be distinguished from the normal car by noticing the 9C1's black-out wheels with chrome center hubcaps, similar to the Crown Vic Interceptor wheels. It may also have the cut-out on one or both of the A-pillar for a spotlight. There is no 9C1 badging to identify it as a police version, so it is hard to spot an unmarked unit on the highway. But the good news(?) is that most departments do not use this car primarily as a pursuit vehicle on the Interstates. It is used more for inner city patrols, which is what the NYPD does, although General Motors is doing its best to market it as a pursuit model. Most officers are trained using rear-wheel-drive vehicles in high speed situations, so they don't take kindly to the front-driven Impala.
The Impala is a fairly heavy car, and the 200 hp V6 engine does the car no justice. The V6 helps the car chug on to 60 mph in just over 9 seconds. The police package equipment is similar to that offered by Ford, such as auxiliary wiring, lighting and spotlights, high-capacity engine cooling with auxiliary engine and transmission oil coolers, 215/65R15 tires, on/off switch for speedometer light, radio display and daytime running lights, and inoperative rear door locks and handles.
Standard are all-wheel disc brakes, and independent MacPherson strut front and independent tri-link rear suspension. Top speed is limited to 124 mph and braking distances are marginally better than the Ford's, at about 141 feet.
Price Range : Only sold to law enforcement agencies. Used ones
available at police auctions.
Engine : V6, OHV, front engine FWD
Displacement : 3,800 cc
Valve : 12 valves, 2 valves per cylinder
Transmission : 4-spd automatic
Fuel economy : city - 20 mpg
highway - 29 mpg
Horsepower : 200 hp @ 5200 rpm
Torque : 200 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
0-60 mph : 9.2 sec.
Curb Weight : 3587 lbs
Overall length : 200.1 in.
Wheelbase : 110.5 in.
Overall Width : in.
Height : 57.4 in.
Before the current Impala, Chevrolet offered their lowly Lumina as a police vehicle after the demise of the Caprice. However, the Lumina never took off with departments and buyers flocked to Ford's camp. The '96 and earlier rear-driven Caprice is regarded by most officers as the best police sedan there ever was, and most insist on using their older Caprice cruisers to this day. It came in two versions - a 4.3L 200 hp V8 and a 5.7L 260 hp V8. Yes, the 5.7L is a cop version of the legendary Impala SS of the mid-'90s. The 5.7L Caprice does 0-60 mph in 8 seconds, brakes from 60 mph to 0 in 135 feet and has a top speed of 139 mph. The 4.3L is considerably slower, reaching 60 mph in 10.5 seconds and having a top speed of 120 mph.
The late '80s 9C1 Caprice was also this market segment's leader in its time and was also regarded as the best police cruiser ever, until the release of the '90s Caprice.