Since 2005, the Chevrolet Tahoe has been available in both a 2WD and a 4WD police package, though only the former was pursuit rated until recently. Now, the 4WD can also be had in a high speed, pursuit rated version that offers the perfect blend of agility and power. Though it can’t quite reach the cheetah-like quickness of the 2WD version, the Tahoe 4WD is plenty fast, topping out at 121 mph while offering several features for optimal off-road use. It is also designed with a maximum tow package, so it’s best to think of the Tahoe 4WD as a rural all-rounder. To bring the Tahoe to its full potential as a primary response vehicle, though, some upfitting is needed.
The Tahoe 4WD is designed to have it all. Beyond its pursuit rated capabilities, the Tahoe is built with 112 cubic feet of cargo space, so it is its own support vehicle. Chevrolet can also bake in significant safety features as well, including imminent collision alerts, low speed forward automatic braking and lane keep assist with lane departure warning.
But even with those impressive safety features, some additional upfitting is essential to transforming the Tahoe 4WD into a true pursuit vehicle that is ready for every scenario. Some of those upfits include:
1. Push bumpers and wraps – As a rural pursuit vehicle, the Tahoe 4WD is going to take some punishment, and is at a real risk of sustaining a significant front-end collision. Further, when other vehicles are in the way, as they often are in a pursuit situation, getting them out of the way usually requires some muscle.
As such, push bumpers are an essential upfit for any pursuit vehicle, and most fleets prefer additional protection in the form of a wrap and headlight protection. Fortunately, there are many companies that manufacture push bumpers for the Tahoe, as it is a primary response vehicle. One of those manufacturers is Westin, which produces a variety of bumper guards and wraps for police and civilian vehicles alike.
Its HDX Winch Mount guard is a strong option for the Tahoe 4WD as it is built with 2-inch full wraparound wings, single piece welded uprights and a full punch plate grille. It is mounted via brackets directly to the Tahoe’s frame and comes with a winch tray that is straight line pull tested to 16,500 pounds. It is available in either a stainless steel or a black powder-coated steel construction.
2. Vehicle armor inserts – The Tahoe needs protection, sure, but the officers inside need it even more. Additional fortification against firearms is a priority for any vehicles expected to respond to incidents, and there is an easy way to attain that protection.
Angel Armor’s Avail IIIA and Enlight armor additions are simple ways to protect the officer from multiple angles. The Avail IIIA is, like its name suggests, capable of providing IIIA protection against threats, and meets NIJ standards for doing so. The insert can be installed in just minutes and fits inside the door frame without remaining obvious. Once installed, the Avail IIIA can stop 9mm and .44 MAG caliber projectiles and allows the officer to use their vehicle door as a shield. Vehicle performance is unaffected, as the Avail IIIA weighs less than 10 pounds and is impervious to poor weather.
With the Enlight, fleet managers can protect the softest part of the Tahoe – the window. The Enlight is mounted inside the vehicle and sits adjacent to the window. It is completely transparent and can be installed with no tools and comes with quick-release handles for immediate removal. There are no protruding edges and the Enlight is made with a smooth finish for safety.
Once placed, the Enlight offers another layer of IIIA-level protection, and is designed to withstand multiple rounds of gunfire without compromising that protection. Angel Armor manufactures a model specifically for the Tahoe, so the fit is perfect and will protect the officer’s periphery while the Tahoe is in motion or while stopped.
3. Cargo solutions – As an SUV, and one expected to function in rural areas, the Tahoe 4WD is an ideal fit for cargo drawers that can take full advantage of the vehicle’s interior space. This is another area where many manufacturers have a presence, as there are dozens of approaches to maximizing cargo room in the Tahoe.
A popular manufacturer is OPS Public Safety, and their Pursuit series of storage drawers is designed with the Tahoe in mind. The Pursuit is available in a single drawer, a modular drawer or a drawer and cabinet layout, depending on the vehicle’s storage needs. The single drawer option is a smart choice when mounting the weapon elsewhere in the vehicle, while the modular drawer or drawer and cabinet combo makes sense when weapon storage is also required. The Pursuit series is built with a lightweight, all-aluminum design and comes with 200-pound ball bearing drawer slides. A black powder coating, rubber matting and an industrial stainless steel lock also come standard with OPS Public Safety’s Pursuit drawers.
The Chevy Tahoe 4WD is fast, powerful and compatible with many upfitting products. And when those upfit options are taken advantage of, the Tahoe is a versatile pursuit platform for any setting.