2011 Dodge Charger Enforcer
2011 Dodge Charger Enforcer. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by Peter Bleakney

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2011 Dodge Charger Enforcer

A funny thing happens when driving an all-black 2011 Dodge Charger Enforcer decked out with light bar, A-pillar-mounted spot lights and a locomotive-grade cow-catcher up front. The automotive landscape slips into slow motion. Brake lights flash, cell phones drop out of sight, drivers guiltily stare straight ahead, not even daring to glance at this apparent escapee from Satan’s own constabulary… it’s all very fascinating, and yes, occasionally frustrating.

You see, every car within spitting distance drives the bloody speed limit – especially the one directly in front. In all the years I’ve lived in Oakville, Ontario I’ve never seen anybody go 50 km/h on Lakeshore Drive. But now I can’t go anywhere around here without being held up by a parade of terrified Sunday drivers.

On the 400 series highways in the Toronto area, it’s a different story. Is this how Moses felt when he parted the Red Sea? The road magically opens up before me, and behind, my law-abiding flock follows dutifully.

2011 Dodge Charger Enforcer
2011 Dodge Charger Enforcer. Click image to enlarge

I thought I owned the road with the Porsche Panamera Turbo S. Kid stuff. Now I own the road.

With the recent demise of the Ford Crown Victoria, the North American police cruiser market is busted wide open. This Brampton-built 2011 Enforcer is Chrysler’s bid to grab a slice of the pie, and while the new 292-hp 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 will likely be the most common engine in the Enforcer, my tester pounded the pavement with the virile and vocal 5.7-litre Hemi V8, kicking out 370 hp and 395 lb.-ft. at 4,200 r.p.m. It’ll scoot to 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds.

The life of a police cruiser is brutal, and this Enforcer is much more than a Charger with a few graphics and lights. Behind those 18-inch steel wheels you’ll find load-levelling rear shocks, toughened brakes, suspension and differential, and “severe duty” cooling for the power steering, engine and five-speed auto. The complete structure is reinforced with high-strength steel.

2011 Dodge Charger Enforcer
2011 Dodge Charger Enforcer. Click image to enlarge

Unique to the Enforcer is a column-mounted shifter, freeing up the centre console for computers and coffee cups.

All the additional police kit, like lights, sirens, push-bars, interior fittings (computers, gun racks, rear “cage”, etc.), is installed by Legget and Platt, a facility in St. Thomas, Ontario that did the same for the Ford Crown Victoria.

The base fleet price for the 2011 Dodge Charger Enforcer 5.7 is $33,995, which is $4,000 less than the civilian Charger R/T. And no, you can’t buy one. Pricing for the Legget and Platt add-ons was not available.

This car had a few “special” features of which I was sworn to secrecy, with threat of an official ride in the cage and a free sleepover in the crowbar hotel.

If I were a cop, I’d love this bad-ass Enforcer. The redesigned 2011 Charger leaps ahead of the previous model with better visibility (taller greenhouse, thinner A-pillars and 15 per cent larger windscreen), improved interior, and honest-to-gawd steering feel. And I’m assuming it’s in another universe from the prehistoric live-axle Crown Vic. But what do I know from police cruisers?

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