The Michigan State Police cop car shootout is an annual rite of passage for automakers hoping to impress those holding the purse strings at law enforcement agencies across the country whose eyes are turned to the results generated by the nationally-publicized trial. With the retirement of the Ford Crown Victoria from active duty - a police force stalwart for decades that was prized for its inexpensive maintenance and repair costs as well as its body-on-frame durability - the market is essentially up for grabs as a varied list of newcomers and past contenders converge on Grattan Raceway in Michigan in order to be put through their paces.
Law enforcement fleet buyers focus on several different criteria when making the decision as to which vehicle would make the most effective cruiser. Officer safety is of course very important. Not only do would-be police cars need to protect their occupants in the event of a high speed crash or impact from another vehicle, but they are also required to offer enough separation between those in the front seat and perps riding out back in order to prevent any unwanted interaction between officers and criminals.