Four years since the California Highway Patrol chose the Ford Police Interceptor Utility (Ford Explorer) as its patrol car, the agency goes back to using sedans again with the Dodge Charger Pursuit. The CHP chose the Charger as its new patrol car thanks to its performance, running costs and payload capacity.

The current fleet, which consists of Ford Explorer-based Interceptor Utility units, is up for retirement soon as many have racked up high miles from patrolling Califonia's vast highway network. CHP, North America's largest police agency, has ordered over 580 units of Dodge's police package to replace the high-mileage fleet. These vehicles will be delivered within the span of two years with the vast majority of the vehicles being delivered next year.

“The CHP is ordering our Charger Pursuit vehicle to reintroduce the sedan into their patrol vehicle fleet. That’s important to us because it reflects a shift back to sedans by a progressive agency like the CHP. It is also important because other agencies throughout California rely on the CHP’s vast resources and knowledge to test, evaluate and determine what police vehicle meets the needs of the CHP, and in many cases meets their local needs as well,” said Bick Pratt, head of FCA US government sales and operations.

Most of the Charger Pursuits ordered by the CHP are powered by the 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 engine that delivers 292 PS and 353 Nm of torque. The CHP also ordered a small batch of higher-powered Charger Pursuits for interceptor duties. Under the hood of these particular Chargers is the 5.7 liter HEMI V8 packing 370 PS and 536 Nm of torque. It is then paired to a 5-speed automatic and instead of the retail version's rotary gear selector, it gets a steering column shifter.

For CHP's Chargers, some will get a 12.1 inch touchscreen with Uconnect for database checks and other police functions. This also eliminates the need of a laptop and frees up more space for both driver and front passenger.