DETROIT -- Now the cops will have a Hemi, too.
The Dodge division of the Chrysler group will have a police version of the Charger sedan, taking a run at a market segment now dominated by the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. The automaker also will offer a police version of the Dodge Magnum station wagon.
The Crown Victoria has been at the center of controversy among several police forces amid claims the car is prone to catching fire in rear-end collisions. Ford Motor Co. maintains the car is safe. But the legal wrangling has prompted the automaker to stop shipping police cars to agencies involved in lawsuits against Ford.
Police agencies can order the Charger equipped with a 340-horsepower version of the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. The V-8 is fitted with cylinder deactivation technology to help improve fuel economy. The V-8 enables the police Charger to go from zero to 60 mph in 6 seconds, the automaker says.
The police Charger can also be equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 250 hp. Either engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.
The police vehicles will be fitted with anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control. Side-curtain airbags will be optional.
Upgrades for the severe duty of police vehicles includes a high-output alternator, external oil coolers, heavy-duty cooling system and a variety of wiring and brackets to mount police equipment.
Production of police units begins this fall, the automaker said.
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