Dodge Charger Review

Discussion, ideas and thoughts on police vehicles.
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Dave Brown
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Re: Dodge Charger Review

Postby Dave Brown » Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:18 pm

LOL!

Well, even in the community policy/public relations category, we refuse to recognize any car that a police officer is going to feel embarrassed in when pulling up at a high school. This is why we will NEVER award Smart cars, Beetles or anything that is one step up from a Cushman scooter.

There are many other cars on the market that kids will respect and admire, not laugh and jeer.

Kids grow up to become police officers because they have positive interactions with professional officers who treat them like human beings, not because they pulled up at their school in a care bear.

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Re: Dodge Charger Review

Postby Gard » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:16 am

devilwoman wrote:
The only sad part is picturing the possibility of the Paris Hiltons and the Lindsay Lohans of today actually inventing something that would prove useful to society as a whole 70 years later.


I don't know if they would be the creators of anything useful, but definitely the inspiration.........I'm talking stronger birth control.


Didn't Paris and Lindsay invent vijayjay flashing? That's car-related.....and worth mentioning IMHO.

They were snubbed by that Nobel crowd, if you ask me.
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Re: Dodge Charger Review

Postby mark y » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:18 pm

Dave Brown wrote:In the early days of digital, some public service agencies found radio transmissions would degenerate into binary mush if they tried to use them beside very loud machinery - such as a running fire truck or a loud police siren.

I think these have now been corrected - mark y can tell us for sure - but there are still limitations. I think the future may not be in encrypted single-frequency digital; it may be in frequency-hopping spread-spectrum radios. And, yes, frequency-hopping spread-spectrum was first invented in the Second World War by a Hollywood actress. (She had to partner with her manager because a woman could not apply for a sole patent at the time.)


Radios are not my speciality. I know, the company name makes you think it would be, but alas... different division. However, I do have a bit better than a passing knowledge about them.

The problems with the digital radios are mostly solved. Much of the time, it's the compression software in the radio that's the issue. Motorola has patents (as do others) on proprietary software, so in many cases it's a bit of a patent war. It has come a long way, however, and even our non-public-safety radios which are digital are just spectacular audio quality - FAR better than analogue radios. I don't see FHSS coming in any time soon, but I'm not the industry expert on this. We are, however, seeing many agencies starting to add encryption to their radio fleets. RCMP out west here is starting to enable it now, and I've heard that soon the entire province will be ecrypted (RCMP radios, that is), but that may just be rumour.

Dave Brown wrote:But this is not about radios; it is about Dodge Chargers.

If you read between the lines of the January issue, you can see I am predicting a LOT of Chargers on the roads in coming years. Chrysler made some significant improvements for 2011, and Ford still has a LOT to prove, with brand-new police vehicles built on what are essentially front-drive economy platforms (Taurus) or front-drive crossover platforms (Explorer.) Yes, the newest of the body-on-frame V8 sedans on the market will NOT be sold in Canada, and GM only has the tightish Impala and the very quick and roomy (but expensive) Tahoe.

Ford REALLY needs to get their act together to get us cars to drive in head-to-head competition. And I don't mean just road tests they publish in their advertising; I mean tests like Dodge was willing to do at last year's Blue Line trade show so officers can see for themselves what their new cars are like, not just trust the word of paid shills.

2012 will be a year of choices, but I am predicting that 2014 will see things settle down and the market begin to even out. And I also predict Carbon Motors will never amount to more than a few novelty cars and will be gone by 2015.


We feel the same. There are many agencies who are disappointed with the Caprice being cancelled (still no 'official' reason for that, but rumours abound). The Charger is the cheapest of the bunch, is pretty mature (you're not getting a 1.0 release, which will be the case with Ford), and is a good looking car that performs well. It never ceases to surprise me how many agencies make their decisions based at least partly on appearance. With the new Pentastar engine, the V6 version is suddenly much more appealing, or agencies still have the V8 if they want/need it. There have been some comments about Chargers having trans problems, etc., but I believe (not confirmed) that Dodge is increasing their warranty to 3 years / 160,000KM on the powertrain. If that is indeed the case, that eliminates worries for transmissions and engines.

The Ford NGPI (sedan) is too small for many agencies (that's not just my opinion) , especially those that run 2-officer cars, however we'll see some agencies adopt the NGPI in a big way, I suspect. We expect to see a significant number of Chargers, and a good number of the Ford UI (SUV). It's roomy, not too expensive ($38K), has a V6, and is supposed to handle well. The optics of police driving SUVs isn't lost on fleet managers. They expect public to complain about police driving what the public perceives as fuel pigs, so a proper media release, touting the new fuel-efficient V6 engine and such, is required. Ahh, the stuff fleet managers have to deal with, at least out here on the west coast.

I think the Tahoes will still be fairly strong, though the Ford UI will take some of that market share.

We're expecting 2012 to be a bit stronger than 2011 in terms of vehicle outfits, but late 2012 and early 2013 will see a strong increase in the number of vehicles purchased/outfitted. I wouldn't be surprised to eventually see a 70% Chargers / 25% Ford UI's in many fleets, with some other stuff thrown in for fun.

Regardless of which vehicle you go to next, one of the most significant issues is where to put the in-vehicle computers. A laptop and dock just won't fit (safely) in any of the new vehicles. There are a number of options, but I think this will come as a surprise to many fleets when they get their new cars, and they'll have to rush to find a solution. The OPP system may work, but few agencies have the CF19 computers in their fleet, so unless they want to toss 100 CF31's at $5K each (ouch) plus the docks, they'll need to find a different solution.

Carbon motors? No comment.

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Re: Dodge Charger Review

Postby Toonces » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:07 pm

I find the OPP MWS to be lousy. I take a car without one, and enjoy the extra space.
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Re: Dodge Charger Review

Postby basketcase » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:11 pm

The setup for the MWS in our cruisers is far better than what I had with the MPs. I wish the screen tilted a little bit more, but I can deal with it. Having the option of taking the keyboard out and putting it on my lap to type reports is pretty sweet.
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Re: Dodge Charger Review

Postby Dave Brown » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:48 pm

Thanks mark. Good points and I agree with you on the splits between Dodge and Ford.

The Ford PI sedan - hell, let's call it what it really is ... a Taurus - is about the same size as an economy sedan (and even the Honda Accord has more room in the inside.) The new PI Utility, based on the Explorer, is nice but let's face facts: there will be a LOT of resistance with the Ford when folks find out that, all-wheel-drive or not, they are still based on a front-drive economy sedan and a front-drive crossover. Even in AWD, they will be biased toward front-wheel-drive. The all-wheel-drive system is, as far as I know, only going to kick in when the fronts start to slip, meaning that AWD is most decidedly NOT 4WD (meaning full-time four-wheel-drive, like the Audi sedans.)

Some people like to call AWD as "on-demand" four-wheel-drive, but I refer to it as "never-in-time" four-wheel-drive.

Basically, Ford has a LOT to prove and they need to get us some cars to drive pronto.

As for the Carbon Motors, I can understand your feelings. But don't worry; once agencies find out what they have to do to keep what will essentially be a "beta" version for twice as long and have to put up with its problems, maintenance and repair issues for twice as long - and they can't just strip out the police equipment and sell it as a taxi cab - well, let's just say they will never amount to more than a few novelty cars here and there. After all, one of their biggest press releases last year was announcing Bosch as one of their suppliers. Well, if you know Bosch like I do, and remember when Bosch was a top-quality German manufacturer, in my opinion they now just mass-produce cheap parts. (Don't put in an aftermarket Bosch oxygen sensor in your vehicle unless you want to find out if this is true or not.)

For some reason, Carbon Motors has never sent even a prototype car up to Canada and seem disinterested in the Canadian market.

Maybe this is because Canadian police officers are pretty sharp and aren't going to put up with a diesel engine that doesn't generate enough heat at idle to keep the electronics warm, let alone a cockpit full of police officers.

On the other hand, I would LOVE it if both Ford and Carbon get us cars to test so they can prove me wrong.

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Re: Dodge Charger Review

Postby mark y » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:00 pm

Dave Brown wrote:...As for the Carbon Motors, I can understand your feelings...


When I said " no comment", I was agreeing with you. I don't think they'll ever see production. Their business model is completely flawed, the car will be outrageously expensive, etc. However, I DO love that they are using a BMW diesel engine.

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Re: Dodge Charger Review

Postby devilwoman » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:32 pm

Try being responsible for trying to cram cages, siren and light controls, etc, into Hybrid vehicles. Then hearing nothing but complaints from people who think they can do it better, but give NO options or ideas. :banghead:

If I hear one more "clown car" comment about our Malibu, I'm going to go postal!!!!!!

What I'd give to have one of these "smaller" police package vehicles to outfit.

Mark Y....I may PM you regarding options for center consoles for Escapes and Malibus....if you don't mind.

brand-new police vehicles built on what are essentially front-drive economy platforms


Front wheel drive vehicles are awful for law enforcement purposes....yes, in snow, you seem to get a bit better traction, but with having the weight of the engine over the drive wheels, it takes an awful butt kicking on the suspension parts. Tie rods, shocks, ball joints, etc.....you jump curbs or hit speed bumps repeatedly and the parts just crumble. We are seeing it around our campus. The front ends of the vehicles are squeaking, creaking, knocking....you name it.
"Don't let someone get comfortable disrespecting you."

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Re: Dodge Charger Review

Postby mark y » Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:01 pm

devilwoman wrote:Mark Y....I may PM you regarding options for center consoles for Escapes and Malibus....if you don't mind.


Feel free!

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Re: Dodge Charger Review

Postby HPSunit316 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:51 pm

did you guys know this.. for the 2012 Dodges

In the U.S., Dodge Charger police cars are called Pursuit. In Canada, they're called Enforcer. Same cars, just different names (due to copyright issues, which is not uncommon).

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Re: Dodge Charger Review

Postby HwyBear » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:02 pm

basketcase wrote:The setup for the MWS in our cruisers is far better than what I had with the MPs. I wish the screen tilted a little bit more, but I can deal with it. Having the option of taking the keyboard out and putting it on my lap to type reports is pretty sweet.


wish we went back to the placement of the 1st generation of MWS was, at least could get to the heating controls, radio etc.
keyboard on lap, I can't seem to be comfortable with that, even with the steering column in highest position.
Having said that, MWS with email,niche, mto is the way to go, much better to be on the road than sitting in the office.
Few people understand the psychology of dealing with a highway traffic cop. Your normal speeder will panic and immediately pull over to the side. This is wrong. It arouses contempt in the cop-heart. Make the bastard chase you. He will follow"


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