2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle Debuts

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit
2021 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle. Credit: Chevrolet
You’ve heard about the anticipated all-new 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe. Well, now we’re learning more about the police version that will hit the road in early 2021.

There will be two police versions geared towards law enforcement: the Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle (PPV) is designed for high speeds and dynamic capability with the added comfort needed from an everyday patrol vehicle. The Special Service Vehicle (SSV) is more focused on off-road and towing needs where high-speed operations are not required.

“Tahoe is the most aspirational vehicle in the law enforcement industry,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president, GM Fleet. “By listening to the needs of officers from around the country, we have built the best Tahoe ever.”

Pursuit-rated enhancements

The Tahoe police vehicles are based on the new 2021 redesigned model with some enhancements specific to police needs. Both are powered by a 5.3L V-8 engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Chevrolet says to meet the most demanding needs of law enforcement, the PPV engine borrows high-performance rocker covers from the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 LT4 engine. These rocker covers improve crankcase ventilation, allowing the 2021 Tahoe to handle high lateral conditions better than its predecessor. Engine oil and transmission fluid are cooled by dedicated, heavy-duty cooling systems specific for law enforcement applications.

The police versions will also come equipped with special pursuit-rated all-season tires to handle the dynamic load of pursuits. Chevrolet says it worked with Bridgestone to develop Firestone Firehawk Pursuit tires, mounted to 20-inch steel wheels, were tested by Chevrolet at multiple race tracks and play a large role in the PPV’s improved stopping distance, which Chevrolet says has been reduced by 11 feet from 62 to 0 mph on dry surfaces compared to the 2020 model.

Additional performance enhancements of the PPV include:

  • Specific suspension tuning with unique monotube dampers, coil springs and stabilizer bars for less body roll and more driver confidence when executing police-type maneuvers.
  • Lower ride height compared to civilian Tahoes for better high-speed aerodynamics and improved vehicle stability.
  • Heavy-duty braking system with large front Brembo six-piston aluminum monoblock calipers on 16-inch rotors.
  • Heavy-duty, clutch-type limited slip rear differential.
  • Speedometer certified at 140 mph.

New model brings major benefits

Beyond the new Tahoe’s class-leading interior space, Chevrolet says the new Tahoe police-specific front seats provide additional hip room, so officers’ utility belts will fit more comfortably. 2021 Tahoe police vehicles offer 70.3 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the second-row seat, which Chevy says is 18.3 cubic feet more than the next largest pursuit-rated SUV competitor. Rear door openings are now 13 percent (3.5 inches) wider than the previous generation to make it easier to load up handcuffed passengers.

The Tahoe also arrives with an all-new independent rear suspension and longer wheelbase which Chevrolet says dramatically improves handling and ride smoothness for both civilian and law enforcement applications, particularly on uneven pavement and unpaved surfaces.

2021 Chevy Tahoe Police Pursuit
Credit: Chevrolet.

The new Tahoe is packed with technology so officers can get work done while parked using an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi® Hotspot. They’ll also get the benefits of standard HD Rear Vision Camera and Rear Park Assist along with standard Hitch Guidance which helps officers attach a trailer. The Tahoe also offers an available Rear Camera Mirror to provide a wide, less obstructed view behind the vehicle compared to a traditional rearview mirror. It is especially helpful with police cabin obstructions like cargo partitions, passengers and K9 kennels common in police vehicles.

New to 2021 Tahoe police vehicles is standard keyless entry and push-to-start ignition,so police officers can leave their keys on their belts for simpler and quicker use.

Driver Assistance

An available suite of active safety features is designed to help police officers stay in control and avoid collisions, including Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking and Following Distance Indicator.

Electrical Systems

Police Tahoe’s have more technological needs - think computers, police radios, lights and sirens -- than your average Joe’s Tahoe. Chevrolet says the Tahoe’s police vehicle electrical architecture has been greatly improved to reduce time and complexity of upfitting. A new standard blunt-cut wire harness has 31 wire circuits to the cockpit, 56 wire circuits to the cargo area and 25 shared circuits to connect aftermarket equipment without removing major panels or components. Upfitters can repurpose the steering wheel-mounted buttons using the blunt-cut wires to perform tasks like initiating a Code 3 with lights and sirens or keying a department radio microphone.

The electrical system is powered by an upgraded dual battery system with emergency equipment isolation to meet the unique needs of police. To avoid excessive engine idling, a 760-amp auxiliary battery will allow video systems, department radios, mobile data terminals, emergency lighting and more to operate without running the engine. A new high-output alternator is 47 percent more powerful than the 2020 model to support the continuous running of electrical equipment.

Dynamic Fuel Management

The powerful 5.3L V-8 engine features Dynamic Fuel Management. DFM enables the engine to operate in up to 18 different cylinder patterns – with as few as two cylinders – to optimize power delivery and efficiency. The DFM controller calculates 80 times per second how many cylinders are required to meet the driver’s requested torque.

2WD and 4WD

While the Tahoe PPV is offered in two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations, the SSV is exclusively 4WD. For added off-road capability, 4WD models offer a Terrain Mode, which provides performance similar to 4WD Low without the need of a two-speed transfer case. Special Service Vehicles also offer an available Max Trailering Package with a max-tow rating of 8,200 pounds. This package includes an active, two-speed electronic Autotrac transfer case with push-button controls and an integrated trailer brake controller.


The 2021 Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicle and the Special Service Vehicle will be assembled at General Motors’ Arlington Assembly in Texas with globally-sourced parts in late 2020. They’ll be available in early 2021.

Check out some highlights of the new 2021 Chevy Tahoe in the video below.
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