Edmunds Follow-Up Test & Video - 2007 Dodge Charger R/T Police Car

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Reviewed by a real officer too.

    Armed and ready to kick some perp's butt

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    The Charger's modern shape and sculpted waist make the Crown Vic prowler look old and dowdy. After all, it is old and dowdy.

    By Ofc. Jerry Barstow
    Date posted: 03-15-2007

    340-horsepower Hemi V8 - 18-inch wheels - Five-speed automatic transmission - Stability control

    There is no perfect police car, but the 2007 Dodge Charger Police Package is as good as it gets right now. In fact, it's the quickest and fastest police sedan ever sold to law enforcement agencies through normal government bidding processes — you know, processes where "low bid" means "good enough."

    When I was hired onto the job, the Dodge Diplomat squad cars of the late 1980s were being retired. I don't remember much about it, but I'll never forget its stand-up Pentastar hood ornament and the arthritic force of its 140-horsepower, 318-cubic-inch V8.

    I was a 23-year-old rookie driving a car built for 75-year-old grandmothers. And since the Diplomats the grandmas drove didn't have anti-aerodynamic light bars across their roofs and 300 pounds of gear in their trunks, the old ladies could smoke me.

    The Dodge Charger Police Package doesn't have a dopey hood ornament, but it does have 200 hp more than the crummy old Diplomat. It'll also blow the spotlights off the Ford Crown Victoria P71 Police Interceptors I've been driving for the last 15 years. It's the first legitimate cop car competition for the Crown Vic since GM let the rear-drive Chevrolet Caprice 9C1 croak in 1996.

    It's the best thing to happen to cops since the Supreme Court said we had to read suspects their "rights."

    Charger R/T to Cop Charger

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    Remember this face. It will soon be appearing in your rearview mirror.

    Most of what goes into a Charger Police Package is the same stuff that goes into the Charger R/T. This includes the same Mercedes-derived all-independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, five-speed automatic transmission and rack-and-pinion steering. Don't forget the 340-hp Hemi V8 with that fuel-efficient Multi-Displacement System (MDS) technology they got. The enforcement machine even comes with the same size tires as the Charger R/T, 225/60R18 all-season Continentals.

    From there, however, the differences start piling up. For instance, the Charger R/T's all-season tires are H-speed rated (130 mph), but the Cop Charger has Continental ContiProContact radials with a V-speed rating (149 mph). Also the Cop Charger has stout steel wheels, and the optional plastic wheel covers look good enough to fool most people.

    The Charger police package is also available with a 250-hp, 3.5-liter V6. It's perfect for municipal police departments that are cheap (That's all of them).

    Stripped down, toughened up

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    Cops need big flat seats because we wear so much necessary equipment on the job. Take off my gun belt and bulletproof vest and I'd like seat bolsters, too.

    The Cop Charger doesn't have much decoration. Stripped of its lights and decals, only the holes hogged out of its A-pillars to fit twin spotlights would provide a visual clue that this is a vehicle for trained law-enforcement professionals. Beyond this, the inside rear door handles and locks have been disabled (duh) and the 160-mph speedometer is certified for enforcement.

    Of course the Cop Charger carries the mechanical fortification necessary for cop work. There's a 160-amp alternator, plus external coolers for the engine oil, transmission fluid and power-steering fluid. The engine's cooling system has been upgraded for "severe duty."

    Nothing ages a car like a few months of police duty. Most run three shifts a day, seven days a week; and their engines are often left idling for hours at a time. "Deferred maintenance" isn't just a slipup, but a budgetary mandate. And cops like me treat them as if they didn't own them.

    I swear that for the last three years I haven't gotten into a Crown Vic and not had my boots stick to some gunk on the floor.

    So I might be biased here because the Cop Charger I drove for this story was new, smelled good and wasn't sticky. Its engine was still fresh and no drunks had barfed in the backseat. Even more remarkable was the fact that there was plenty of tread on all four tires and the front end was in alignment.

    I'm not used to having it so good.

    Cop a plea

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    These might look like alloy wheels, but in fact they're optional plastic covers on the standard 18-inch steel wheels.

    To civilians, the front seats might seem to be flat and shapeless, but for those of us who go to work while wearing a gun belt and bulletproof vest, they're about perfect. The Cop Charger's column shifter takes such a huge heave to move that it might as well be hooked up to a Soloflex exercise machine, but there is a tiny little button on the shift lever that operates the AutoStick manual shifting system and gives the driver some positive control unavailable in a Crown Vic.

    Although the dashboard is a relentless sweep of cheap black plastic, the instrumentation is easily read and the various knobs and all the secondary controls are operable by gloved hands.

    The whole roof seems much lower than in my Crown Vic. Which is kind of weird, because the Dodge is only a mere tenth of an inch lower overall. My guess is that a lot of perps are going to find themselves unintentionally knocking their noggins on the roof while being placed into the roomy-enough backseat. And maybe a few of those knocks will be a bit intentional.

    With a full-size spare aboard, there's simply not much room in the Cop Charger's trunk either. And every police officer has to carry a lot of equipment — road flares, a shotgun, riot gear, evidence bags, traffic cones and a dozen other things. Of course the fleet garage will steal the full-size spare the moment the Charger enters service anyhow, and that likely opens up enough space in the trunk.

    Driving the Hemi

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    Chrysler's 5.7-liter Hemi features the MDS system that shuts down cylinders when they're not needed. The system works unobtrusively and picks up a few mpg.

    Compared to the Crown Vic, the Hemi-powered Charger is a rocket. All you have to do is slam open the throttle with the traction control on and the car will smack into 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds. The quarter-mile flew by in just 14.6 seconds at 96.1 mph. That's not quick enough to chase down a Lamborghini, but it's more than enough for police work. After all, we do have radios — two-way radios.

    What's particularly good about all this power is how it's seamlessly delivered and safely applied. The Hemi never hiccups, and the automatic transmission shifts with authoritative crispness. While the Crown Vics always feel reluctant to romp; this Charger actually seems eager.

    The real hero here, though, is the standard Electronic Stability Program (ESP). Look, those "World's Wildest Police Chase" TV shows might make it seem like every cop out there has the car-control skills of Michael Schumacher and can execute a perfect PIT maneuver while blindfolded in a tornado. But the truth is that a lot of us cops are pretty lame behind the wheel and the ESP system will keep many of us safe when there's more adrenaline than common sense flowing through our bodies. I'm sure it will literally save lives.

    Turn off the ESP and the Charger likes to wag its chiseled tail. The slalom times for the Charger are hardly record-shattering, but cops shouldn't be trying to set records anyhow.

    History lesson

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    The slightly tail-in-air rake of the Charger makes this one of the most aggressive-looking squad cars of all time. And there's plenty of room on the deck lid for DARE stickers!

    In 1955 Dodge sold a Coronet police package equipped with the original Hemi. So the Charger isn't the first Hemi-powered cop car.

    But the legend the Charger chases most ferociously is that of the 1969 Dodge Polara police package, which had a big 440-cubic-inch Wedge V8 rated at 375 hp. Legend has it that this full-size brute whomped to 60 mph in only 6.3 seconds and ran through the quarter-mile in 14.4 seconds at 98 mph during tests conducted by the Michigan State Police (MSP). And, the legend continues, it was able to orbit Chrysler's testing oval at 147 mph.

    Those Polara numbers have been exceeded by the Chevy Camaro B4C police-package vehicle, but never approached by any other true sedan until the Cop Charger. During testing of the 2006 Hemi Cop Charger, the MSP measured a top speed "over 145 mph." This sounds awful close to 147.

    It's nice to know that there's a cop car out there today that can take on the legend of the 1969 Polara. And it's nice that it's a Dodge. Even though nice doesn't count for much in police cars.

    Now let's see how the Charger holds up to running over curbs, having its rear doors kicked apart by crazed crack fiends, and being manhandled by incompetent fleet-service departments. That'll be the real test.

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    The Charger's radio has an auxiliary jack to plug in an iPod — perfect when you're eating doughnuts in the car. What? You were expecting to get through this without a doughnut joke?

    What Works:
    Powerful engine, agile chassis, mean and athletic-looking.

    What Needs Work:
    Small trunk, low rear-door opening, high-effort shifter, a bit narrow for hips wearing gun belts.

    Bottom Line:
    Dodge fortifies the Charger for enforcement duty and produces the most capable police sedan ever built.


    Specs & Performance

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    Model Year: 2007
    Make: Dodge
    Model: Charger
    Style: Police Package 4dr Sedan (5.7L 8cyl 5A)
    Base Price: $22,320
    Price as Tested: $29,990
    Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
    Transmission Type: Automatic
    Displacement (liters): 5.7
    Engine Type: V8
    Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 340 hp @ 5,000 rpm
    Torque (ft-lbs @ rpm): 390 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
    Braking System: Front and rear ventilated disc

    Steering System: Power steering
    Suspension Type (front): Short and long arm
    Suspension Type (rear): Multilink
    Tire Size (front): P255/60R18 99V
    Tire Size (rear): P255/60R18 99V
    Tire Brand: Continental
    Tire Model: ContiPro Contact
    Curb Weight (lbs): 4,031 (4,219 as tested)
    Recommended Fuel: Regular unleaded
    Fuel Tank Capacity (gal): 19
    EPA Fuel Economy (mpg): 17
    Edmunds Observed (mpg): 25

    Performance
    0 - 30 (sec): 2.4
    0 - 45 (sec): 4
    0 - 60 (sec): 6.2
    0 - 75 (sec): 9
    1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 14.7 @ 96.0
    30 - 0 (ft): 32
    60 - 0 (ft): 127
    Braking Rating (Excellent, Good, Average, Poor or Very Poor): Good
    Slalom (mph): 62.6

    Skid Pad (g-force): 0.80
    Handling Rating (Excellent, Good, Average, Poor or Very Poor): Good
    Db @ Idle: 51
    Db @ Full Throttle: 78.1
    Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 71.5

    Acceleration Comments: Best launch was a slap 'n go with zero brake torque. It makes all the right sounds and upshifts very crisply. No dead spots in power.

    Braking Comments: Firm-to-hard pedal feedback but consistently good stops. Little nose dive and fairly quiet ABS.

    Handling Comments: There's a surprising amount of grip from these tires and the steering is good at communicating how much is left. The balance is admirable considering the mass, but ultimately understeer sets in. Honestly, this car is a bit of a pig in the slalom. The steering is quite slow (both ratio and reaction), the suspension is too firm for the mass it must carry, and it's susceptible to oversteer. I had a hard time matching the stability system's time, but eventually did with ESP off.

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  2. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Awesome video.
     
  3. marcu5

    marcu5 not worry friend. i do not grudge.

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    charger crew signin in
     
  4. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark John McCain has an illegitimate mexican baby

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    14.6 in the quarter mile WATCH OUT!
     
  5. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark John McCain has an illegitimate mexican baby

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    how can you tell the hemi cop charger from the 250 hp cop charger?
     
  6. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark John McCain has an illegitimate mexican baby

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    Style: Police Package 4dr Sedan (5.7L 8cyl 5A)
    Base Price: $22,320

    does this mean you can get a hemi charger for 20 grand? or do you have to be a police department?
     
  7. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark John McCain has an illegitimate mexican baby

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    no..but this just reinforces the typical cop attitude that they drive super cars
     
  8. 72SSAbody

    72SSAbody New Member

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    That would be nice. Too bad the thing weighs more than your current gf.

    I also love how all the idiot doughnut boys all say their Crown Vic/Police Interceptors have a "chip in it that makes more power" when you talk to them. :mamoru: Just reinforces the fact that they're human and idiots.
     
  9. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark John McCain has an illegitimate mexican baby

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    well its still a hemi and the added weight seems to go mostly to make the car more reliable(all those extra coolers). still will be faster and cheaper than the regular civilian charger with the 250 hp
     
  10. KoopaTroopa

    KoopaTroopa OT Supporter

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    Video towards the end is fucking funny as hell. I love the commentary given.
     
  11. Steve

    Steve Pickin', Stickin', and Grinnin'

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    I want to buy one when my local PD starts retiring them.:o
     
  12. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    How horrible is the interior :ugh:

    340 horsepower? :rofl:
     
  13. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    How big is the hemi in these? I dont see much on them posted on offtopic, which is suprising :o
     
  14. Willey2cool

    Willey2cool New Member

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    my uncle is a cop and they have a couple of them that they are testing to see if they want to buy some. He likes them because of how fast they are but the trunk is too small to hold all the spike traps and equipment that the crown vics hold
     
  15. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark John McCain has an illegitimate mexican baby

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    14.6 is fast?
     
  16. UnaBomber

    UnaBomber Closed-minded pig-headed racist xenophobe OT Supporter

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    my town just got 3 unmarked hemis like these... they also got an 07 rt10viper thats unmarked and black :eek3:
     
  17. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    14.6 is quick enough, they've proberbly got lots of torque.

    I dont know why the cops dont use tuned GTO's. The ls1 engine is superb, every SS vechicle here is well overe 400 horsepower, with simple I/H/E + tune mods.
     
  18. Crunks

    Crunks Active Member

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    I saw one of those at Starbucks the other day, cept it was blacked out and an undercover vehicle.
     
  19. Gundam

    Gundam Tell Drama he's on my to do list, right after inse

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    :rofl: Cop cars are never really shut off, especially if a single car is used for multiple shifts.
     
  20. Gundam

    Gundam Tell Drama he's on my to do list, right after inse

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    Did you even read the article or did you just scroll down to some simple statistic that you can comprehend?
     
  21. OrangeGoblin

    OrangeGoblin New Member

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    It's faster than the average car.
     
  22. WS6Formula350

    WS6Formula350 molestache amririte?

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    yeah, i think it looks pretty hot like that :eek3:
     
  23. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    For pursuits that is a very quick car. It's faster than the majority of vehicles on the road and annihilates the 16 second vehicles they could be buying instead.

    I don't think there's another car that looks better in uniform than the Charger either. :o
     
  24. I stopped caring at "reviewed by a real officer". It's well known that most of those power tripping doucehbags can't drive
     
  25. phatguy88

    phatguy88 OT Supporter

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    I saw one of these in tenafly, nj (suburbia) unmarked and without 18in rims
     

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