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Cop Favorite Crown Vic Retiring; Cruisers Get New Look

Cop Favorite Crown Vic Retiring; Cruisers Get New Look

The Charlott Observer via YellowBrix

April 19, 2011

DEARBORN, MI – The Ford Crown Victoria, the queen of all police cruisers for many years, has reached the end of the road.

As a testimonial to her departure, law enforcement agencies across the nation are taking no chances on Victoria’s replacement by purchasing the current model at a near record pace.

This is called customer satisfaction with a product, a major goal of all business owners. Plus the fact that buyers of police cruisers are not certain about the performance of replacements, which are coming on the market this year.

It is a coincidence today’s police car column is around the time state and federal taxes were due.

Car and Driver magazine has a fine in-depth report on new police cruisers from Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. Hopefully you will not see them hugging your rear bumper with blue lights flashing. Replacing the Crown Victoria is a new Police Interceptor-branded Taurus. It has “cop tires, cop suspension and cop shocks,” and it can survive an offset hit to the rear from a car moving at 75 miles per hour without spilling any gas.

Making Black-and-Whites has been good business for Ford, especially since GM retired its body-on-frame, rear-drive Caprice in 1996. With sales of about 32,000 units last year -– but more typically 40,000-45,000 a year at an average price of $23,000 before equipment add-ons -– the police version of the Crown Victoria enjoyed 70 percent of the market.

Facing competition from GM and Chrysler, Ford is hoping that momentum will help keep police fleet buyers in Ford’s tent as the company transitions to a front-drive (and all-wheel-drive) unitized body.

There will be three versions for the new Taurus-based Police Interceptor sedan. The most basic will have about 285 horsepower from its 3.5-liter V-6, front-wheel drive and column-shifted six-speed automatic. Ford expects most customers will skip the front-drive version and opt for all-wheel drive.

For highway patrol units looking for faster intercept speeds, there’s a SHO-based, 365 hp, turbocharged EdoBoost V-6 AWD sedan.

Compared with its civilian cousin, the Interceptor has quite a few changes under the skin. Heavily reinforced front and rear subframes absorb more punishment: An Interceptor can allegedly hit a curb at 40 mph without damaging anything but the wheel and tire.

The Dodge Charger Pursuit is restyled for 2011. Dodge calls the Pursuit a “menace to those who menace.” And the new design, again courtesy of Car and Driver, arguably makes the Charger even more menacing than ever. A 291 hp V-6 is good for an 8.7-second run to 60 mph in Michigan State Police-testing. If that is not quick enough, a 370 hp V-8 can do it in 6.2 seconds.

When it comes to pricing, Dodge choose the right to remain silent, but V-6s probably will go for $25,000; and V-8s likely to start at $31,000.

Chevrolet’s cop-only Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) is GM’s first rear-drive police car (and Caprice) since the whale-like 1996 Caprice.

Based on a long version of the Pontiac G8’s Zeta unibody platform, the PPV comes with a 335 hp, 6.0-liter V-8 and six-speed automatic. The Michigan State Police got a 0-60 time of 6.2 seconds.

In early 2012, a 3.6-liter V-6 version with about 300 horses arrives. Pricing starts at $30,995, but police usually get a discount.

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