The Caprice name will return to Chevrolet in 2011 as a rear-drive police car.
The car will be engineered by General Motors Co.’s Holden subsidiary in Australia and assembled there.
The announcement was made today at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Denver.
The Caprice will be based on the rwd vehicle platform used to create the Pontiac G8, Chevrolet Camaro and several Holden vehicles — including the Chevrolet Caprice that is sold in the Middle East.
The car will be marketed to police agencies here as the Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle; V-8 and V-6 engines will be offered. Dealers will begin taking orders in the fourth quarter of 2010. Deliveries are expected in the first quarter of 2011.
Pricing was not announced.
GM spokesman Brian Goebel said the company thinks the Caprice “will be a significant addition to the police community.”
The rwd Ford Crown Victoria has the bulk of the U.S. police car business, but Ford is dropping the Crown Vic in 2011. A police-pursuit front-drive Taurus is under development.
Other players in the police car segment are the rwd Dodge Charger and front-drive Chevrolet Impala. Law enforcement agencies tend to favor V-8-powered, rwd sedans because of handling characteristics and the high horsepower.
Goebel said the car introduced at the convention today is a concept.
“Some of the elements, some of the styling will be different in the production version. We are not releasing all the details in terms of specs at this point,” said Goebel, who was interviewed over the phone.
The changes will be made “to bring it in line with the Chevrolet look and feel,” he said.
Still to be determined is whether all Chevrolet dealers will be eligible to sell and service the car, Goebel said.
“The new Chevrolet Caprice police car is the right tool at the right time for law enforcement,” Jim Campbell, general manager for GM Fleet and Commercial Operations, said in a news release issued by the company.
“We asked for a lot of feedback from our police customers, which helped us develop a vehicle that is superior to the Crown Victoria in key areas.”
The 1996 Caprice was the last rwd sedan offered by Chevrolet with a police-pursuit package. Currently, Chevrolet offers a police package on the Impala sedan and Tahoe SUV.