Police departments aren't known for buying lavish patrol vehicles, but they do have specific needs. And for the past few years, Chevrolet has effectively met many departments' requirements with a police version of the Tahoe. For 2007, the cop Tahoe will be based on the latest generation of GM's popular full-size SUV.

Naturally, the police Tahoe benefits from everything that's good about the 2007 Tahoe--rack-and-pinion steering, stiffer frame, better looks, vastly improved interior, and the improved suspension and wider track. That, however, is just a start for this focused-duty vehicle. It rides on steel 17-inch wheels wrapped up in P265/60R17 HR speed-rated Goodyear Eagle RSA tires, there's an uprated cooling system with a larger radiator and oil cooler, a skidplate package, 160-amp alternator, and its suspension is tuned to take advantage of the oversize tires. Four-wheel drive is an option, and the interior is covered with enough barf-resistant vinyl to handle the highest-capacity drunk.

Power for this special-service Tahoe comes from the familiar 5.3-liter version of the Vortec small-block OHV V-8. While a cop-spec SUV is more expensive than, say, the cop-spec Ford Crown Victoria sedan, police departments can often more than recoup the difference on the back end when it comes time to sell the things off. For us civilians, this cop Tahoe may actually be a preview of the coming Tahoe SS.