By on August 28, 2009

Having invested a considerable amount in its Taurus full-size car, Ford will almost certainly be discontinuing its Crown Victoria Interceptor (police model) in 2011. The Detroit News reports that Ford made the announcement to departments in June, when it invited officers to Dearborn to discuss Ford’s police fleet future. After breaking the news that the old warhorse would be put out to pasture, Ford gave officers the keys to its new Taurus, inviting them to drive the Crown Vic’s likely replacement. “We have no intention of walking away from our share of that market,” says Ford’s Jim Farley.

But the Taurus isn’t exactly a plug-and-play prowler. Police like the Crown Vic’s easy-to-repair body-on-frame construction, its column shift (which frees up room for a shotgun) and sheer size. Though the Taurus offers more speed, efficiency and safety, it lacks many of those features that make the Crown Vic America’s most popular cop car. Also, the Crown Vic has been the police standard for so long, a whole industry has emerged offering innumerable accessories, options and add-ons for cop duty. But if the Crown Vic keeps its shoulder to the plow past 2011, it won’t be because of any of these reasons. The two factors that are making this decision so tough for Ford are that the Crown Vic is long paid off, and that Ford is looking for concessions from the CAW, who assemble the Crown Vic. CAW president Ken Lewenza explains “keeping the Crown Vic in production until the end of the contract in 2012 would go a long way toward satisfying our objectives.” And there you have it.

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100 Comments on “Crown Vic Interceptor to Die in 2011. Or Not....”


  • avatar
    toxicroach

    Sounds like a classic case of don’t mess with success.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    The Crown Vic ended up with the lion’s share of the cop car market by default. Once upon a time, all the big US branded BOF cars played in that market. Everyone else killed off their dinosaur models and the Crown Vic ended up winning the last man standing competition. But, the cop car market isn’t large enough to support a dedicated product (sorry Carbon Motors! http://www.carbonmotors.com/ ). But then again, with all of the tooling and engineering costs amortized years ago, maybe Ford can just keep the thing going. As long as the units built are making a profit, why stop?

    When the Crown Vic finally goes away we can expect to see a much more diverse cop car market develop. Perhaps the Taurus will get a piece of it, but no way will Ford continue to have the dominant market share it enjoys today. Even Jim Farley probably knows that if he is every honest with himself.

  • avatar
    olivehead

    non-rhetorical question: why would you stop producing one of the most successful and profitable vehicles of all time and try to push a replacement that’s inferior for the intended purpose of its potential buyers?

  • avatar
    jmo

    You’d think that a Taurus with the 3.0L V-6 diesel Ford and PSA developed for the Jaguar XF would be a great match. Durability, good gas milage, etc.

    E NEW XF DIESEL S – In Brief

    * The most advanced, powerful and efficient Jaguar diesel ever
    * New 275PS high-performance XF Diesel S featuring Jaguar’s new AJ-V6D Gen III S 3.0-litre diesel engine delivering a massive 600Nm of torque
    * 0-60mph in just 5.9 seconds, 50-70mph in just 3.2 seconds and a maximum speed of 155mph, yet combined fuel economy of 42.0mpg – 12 percent better than the acclaimed 2.7-litre V6 diesel engine
    * Emits just 179g/km – a 10 percent reduction in CO2. Conforms to EU5 emission regulations using conventional exhaust after-treatment
    * 33 percent more powerful and 61 percent more torque from 1500rpm than the 2.7-litre V6 diesel

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    This could possibly be a good ‘sell-off’ opportunity to any interested party looking to keep this dinosaur around for another Eon to satisfy the policy fleets.

    I think the Vic is toast for the future Taxi fleet market, though. As time goes on I am seeing more and more minivans, Escapes, Altimas, Malibus, etc taking over the streets of Manhattan… All are more efficient, and size-wise, more appropriate for crowded City duty. I’m waiting to see some Transit Connect taxis!

  • avatar
    twotone

    From what I have read, most cops prefer RWD — better/more predictable handling and easier to do PIT maneuvers. It will be interesting to see if they take a liking to FWD.

    Twotone

  • avatar
    Juniper

    The city I live in of 100K has been running Impalas for a few years. Don’t know details but haven’t heard any complaints.

  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    Seems like it would be worthwhile for Ford to spend some development money on a long wheel base version of the Taurus with a column shifter, and a few other mods.
    Then perhaps they could have another decade or two of being the dominant police car provider with a lot of taxi sales in addition.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    The boys in blue that I have spoken to like the Crown Vic because of its solid rear axle and perimeter frame. They claim while cars like the Impala are faster and get better gas mileage, the transaxle, half-shafts and CV joints don’t hold up on FWD when you drive over curbs, highway median strips and go off-road. Several told me that the Impala is too cramped and they like the room in the Crown V. I also asked some of the local Sheriff’s officers what they thought of the Dodge Charger and they said it’s great for high speed, highway pursuit but that’s where it ends. The largest complaint with the Charger is limited visibility followed by being able to get a perp in the back seat without clonking his noggin on the sloped C-pillar.

    I think Ford did the right thing making the Crown V a fleet-only car, kind of like the Checker Marathon which went from about 1955 until 1983 or so. Definitely aged but not lacking for purpose until it was finally replaced with something that seemed better, such as the Crown V.

    It will make sense eventually to replace the Crown V with something else but I’m not sure there is anything as viable, or venerable for that matter, on the market today.

  • avatar
    Zammy

    “We have no intention of walking away from our share of that market,” says Ford’s Jim Farley.

    This can only mean that Ford has a secret RWD Taurus in development.

  • avatar
    WEGIV

    I have no issue with Ford continuing to produce the Crown Vic for fleet use, but they need to update the powertrain for better power and fuel economy. That shouldn’t be that expensive as long as they aren’t using a purpose-built engine. The lump in these cars drinks far too much fuel for the little power that it puts out, and if police forces are satisfied with the (relatively low) performance of this car (eg many sub 30K production cars can outrun it handily), then it should be possible to drop one of the EcoBoost engines in it and a 6-speed auto to improve the fuel economy dramatically (vs giving it a sizeable power bump). Couple that with maybe a second battery so that they can run the electrics for a period of time with the engine off, and you’d have something that would solve most of the problems with the current car.

  • avatar
    jmo

    This can only mean that Ford has a secret RWD Taurus in development.

    What about AWD – I’m surprised there isn’t more demand for it.

    A Taurus with AWD, the Jag diesel and the SHO suspension upgrade would make the perfect cop car.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Our local gendarmes found Chev Impalas and Dodge Chargers too fragile for police duty. Frameless bodies can’t take the hits. Expensive to repair. Lots of suspension and transmission woes. Spent as much time in the shop as on the road. Tight for all the cop crap they carry.

    Can understand Ford finding 75,000 police vehicles a year without a civilian market uneconomic, though it’s a shame to abandon a niche you have a lock on.

    Good opportunity for GM to supply a G8 based police special but, being dead from the neck up, it won’t.

  • avatar
    wsn

    The Crown Vic may be good for more dangerous operations. But as for most patrolling/idling, I think a Prius is better.

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    Impala is becoming a choice, again, for city fleets…don’t do alot of high-speed manuevers and get better city fuel economy. At least that is usually the reason stated. Plus, they can be equipped with a column shift and are reasonably roomy/thrifty to operate. I think the Taurus would play a similiar role as the Impala does, except for that big center tunnel. The V6 in either has plenty of grunt for getting to their call. Of course, I’ve always lived in medium-sized cities (Baton Rouge, Tulsa, Boise, SLC, suburbs of Houston) where these types of fleets do just fine.

    Keep the Charger for high-speed highway patrolling, how often does a backseat come into play with the highway patrol? A large trunk is nice for the Comm. equipment and other items stored away. But a powerful V8 and RWD, or AWD as used often in Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming are great options if the CV goes away.

    IMO, the coolest Chrysler product right now is a Charger cruiser…and I’ve never cared for MOPARs.

  • avatar
    Robstar

    jmi> Those look like awesome specs. I googled them and those specs seem to come from an english website…which translated to US MPG (3.78L/g instead of 5) comes out to 30+ mpg combined.

    Too bad they don’t sell that engine here, I’d be so in for a car based on that if it had decent handling/space and in the $20-$30k pricerange.

  • avatar
    CyCarConsulting

    Make the new Taurus a cop car and you will kill the retail business on that model. People don’t want cop cars, or rental cars, that’s why the crown vic was not a great mover.
    This of course may be limited to Cal. only.

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    It is long past time for the Clown Victoria to go away.

    Every time Ken Lewenza (or his predecessor Buzz Hargrove) flaps his mouth, he demonstrates that Upton Sinclair was quite correct: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

  • avatar
    Blue387

    I’ve noticed that the NYPD uses a mix of Crown Vics, Impalas and Chargers and has a few Prius (Priuses?) for the traffic police and a few testbed Altima hybrids for patrol work.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    “A Taurus with AWD, the Jag diesel and the SHO suspension upgrade would make the perfect cop car.”

    So long as the definition of “perfect” can encompass a 35-60% price premium, you might well be right.

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    Ford showed a Transit Connect taxi option at the NY Auto Show…has anyone heard if that is coming?

    In related news, with the inevitable axing of the Grand Marquis, Mercury is left with 2 models…

  • avatar
    jmo

    So long as the definition of “perfect” can encompass a 35-60% price premium, you might well be right.

    A Crown Vic gets 17 city – a diesel Taurus might get 25 city. That’s a 50% increase. I’d imagine the average cruiser is on the road most of the day – a 50% cut in gas consumption could easily make up for the initial price difference.

  • avatar

    Give ‘em Segways and bicycles. If they want something faster, let their unions pay for it. Response time is ridiculous – cops never show up in time to help you, they just clean up the mess. Take away their cruisers, put them on a foot patrol so they actually start treating civilians with respect instead of acting like an occupying force.

    Cops are just a particularly annoying form of public employee. A DMV worker with a badge and a gun and the power to mess up your life just because he’s having a bad day.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @wsn…A Prius for a cop car? Ya gott’a be kidding
    man. The cops find the FWD Impala is OK,but doesn’t really cut it,in thier world. A wuss mobile like a Prius? Yeah I can see them falling over themselves for a fleet of them babies.

    I thought that by now the NY city Taxi fleet was al gonn’a be hybrid. How did that work out anyway?

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    BOF (body on frame) has nothing to do with it. Dodges and Plymouths were the cop cars of choice for several decades, and they were all unibody, since 1960, at least.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @ Ronnie Schreiber I usually agree with most of your stuff. Me thinks your last comment,may not go over so well.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    If you want to know why the Big 3 has lost market share, all you have to do is look at how Ford has treated their best platform, the Panther.

    Take what you company has had 100 years of expertise building, and ignore it to the point you pretend it doesn’t exist.

    It still has the powertrain that was introduced for the 1991 Town Car, and the doors on a 1992 Grand Marquis will fit a 2010 Crown Vic.

    Brilliant thinking – take a platform that is darn near indestructible with a built in market domination, and ignore it for 15 years. Then when sales drop, justify cancelling it to replace with an inferior product because sales have dropped. There is literally no competition for a traditional American sedan done correctly, but all we get is a half-hearted effort by Ford for the last decade.

    Yeah, just what the U.S. market needs – another front wheel drive unibody sedan that, while a little bigger, is no different than anything else in the market.

  • avatar
    MikeInCanada

    A repeated theme here seems to be that the Crown Vic is the right size for a cop car and that the Challenger and Impala are a bit on the snug size.

    Having been personally pulled over on the autobahn by an Audi A6, and seeing lots of Audi A4 (avant’s no less) in Italy – how are they able to make due with such smaller police cars?

  • avatar
    windswords

    “Police like the Crown Vic’s easy-to-repair body-on-frame construction, its column shift (which frees up room for a shotgun) and sheer size.”

    Actually Ed, they like the column shift because it frees up room for a laptop. I haven’t seen a shotgun in a police car in years, but everyone without fail has a computer in it. If they have such a firearm it’s probably in the trunk.

  • avatar
    bolhuijo

    The town of Parchment, MI has a Prius police car. It’s a sleepy little place with no speed limits over 45, so it works for them as far as I know. Someone wrote in to the local paper opinion page chastising them for using a foreign car. The city wrongly claimed that the Prius was built in Tennessee. nice.

  • avatar
    Commando

    I gave up on Chrysler when their Gran Fury cop car bit the dust (the M-bodies were never real cop cars).
    I was pissed as all hell when GM axed the Caprice, et al (Opals and Holdens don’t count either).
    Now the Crown Vic!
    Today is a good day to die.

    BTW, wtach the spike in CV prices on eBay.
    After the Caprice ended, container after container of GM B/C parts went to the Middle East.

    A smart man would step up to the plate right now and start negotiating for all of the tooling.

  • avatar
    Neb

    Cops are just a particularly annoying form of public employee. A DMV worker with a badge and a gun and the power to mess up your life just because he’s having a bad day.

    I know. Who do these “police” think they are, enforcing these “laws”?!

    @taxman100: I was thinking the same thing. The Crown Vic is one of those products that had Ford just invested a little into over time, it would have a corner of the market all to itself. But like the Ranger, it was allowed to become obsolete because it was more profitable in the short term to let it lie.

    Though I don’t know how many times Ford has said this is the end of the Panther and then allowed it to soldier on. Maybe they do this just to rattle the CAW. I expect as long as police departments are buying, Ford will want to be selling.

  • avatar
    twotone

    “wsn :
    August 28th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    The Crown Vic may be good for more dangerous operations. But as for most patrolling/idling, I think a Prius is better.”

    Better than a bicycle? Maybe.

    Twotone

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Well…the Ford fail train has made another stop.

    Here are just a few reasons why the Taurus will make a CRAP squad:

    Not as reliable as the CV.
    Not as durable as the CV.
    Not as inexpensive as the CV.
    Not as easy to repair as the CV.
    Not as cheap to repair as the CV.
    FWD/AWD.
    Smaller.

    I think police will flock to the Tahoe.

    Also…didn’t Ford babble on about how they were not going to fleet dump?

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    @Commando:
    the M-bodies were never real cop cars

    A great many police forces across North America evidently disagreed; the M-bodies were quite popular as cop cars.

    As for how Ford might best replace the stone-age Panther:

    *Koff*Falcon*Koff*

  • avatar
    George B

    # MikeInCanada :
    August 28th, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    …Having been personally pulled over on the autobahn by an Audi A6, and seeing lots of Audi A4 (avant’s no less) in Italy – how are they able to make due with such smaller police cars?

    Smaller policemen?

    If the ability to drive over curbs, etc. justifies BOF with all the torsional rigidity of pasta, wouldn’t an SUV with more ground clearance be even better suited to police work? I suspect that a 4 cylinder Camry would do most of what police actually do most of the time. Lots of interior room and low operating costs.

  • avatar
    dean

    What MikeinCanada said. Why do North American cops “need” the ability to hop curbs, pull parking brake u-turns at high speeds, and all this space for perps when police forces the world over do the job in Focus-sized front-drivers?

  • avatar
    NoSubstitute

    Great news for those of us who think the Dodge Charger is just about the coolest looking cop car ever.

  • avatar
    suedenim

    Why, exactly, can’t Carbon Motors work? Seems like a good idea on the face of it, anyway.

  • avatar
    AdamYYZ

    I believe the police cars are smaller in the rest of the world due to the higher fuel prices and narrower streets. And I can nearly guarantee their cops aren’t nearly as fat as ours are.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Not as reliable as the CV.
    Not as durable as the CV.

    Do we have any numbers to back that up?

  • avatar
    rnc

    Don’t need numbers just an article to troll behind.

  • avatar
    srogers

    Good riddance to a POS.
    I get a kick out of all the lamentation for an obsolete vehicle.

    Good features in the 1960s:
    - really big
    - body on frame construction
    - rides like a parade float
    - impresses neighbors because it’s really big (again)
    - looks like a cop car/taxi
    - drinks a lot of gas so that there’s less left for the commies

    How many of these are ‘good features’ in the 21st century if we take off our “good old days” blinders?

  • avatar
    Arminius

    A Prius or Camry will certainly work for 95 to 99% of what a cop does day in and day out. It’s the remaining 5%-1% they have to be prepared for and don’t know when they will need it. Last year 4 cops got shot and killed in Oakland in a single day. If they feel that a CV is what they want/need, go ahead and use my tax dollars to by a CV.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    jmo:
    Do we have any numbers to back that up?

    Don’t need them. Common sense tells you that a FWD Taurus that is laden with gimmicks that can break will not be able to do 100K of severe police service and then go on to do another 200-300K as a taxi with nothing but routine maintenance.

    The Impala can’t, the Charger can’t, the Intrepid couldn’t, and the Taurus won’t.

    I have a feeling the Taurus will be the new Intrepid.

    Why do North American cops “need” the ability to hop curbs, pull parking brake u-turns at high speeds,

    You think cops do that???

    HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

    People…get a CLUE!

    The attraction of the Crown Vic and why it holds 80% of the police car market is PURE economics..

    MY police department is able to reuse the cage, lightbar, opticom, various mounts, center console, etc when they decommission a car and buy a new one. They don’t have to run out and buy all new stuff.

    I’ll say this slowly…

    THE CROWN VIC IS A CHEAP CAR TO BUY, OPERATE, and REPAIR!

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    G
    Good features in the 1960s:
    - really big
    Really big? Who are you Matt Roloff?

    - body on frame construction
    Just like trucks.

    - rides like a parade float
    No it doesn’t

    - impresses neighbors because it’s really big (again)
    Ok Matt

    - looks like a cop car/taxi
    Because it is.

    - drinks a lot of gas so that there’s less left for the commies

    Why don’t you troll over to http://www.crownvic.net and talk to all of the people that ON A REGULAR BASIS see 30MPG out of these cars on the highway.

    How many of these are ‘good features’ in the 21st century if we take off our “good old days” blinders?

    ALL OF THEM!

    Unless you want to piss away MORE of your tax dollars on a car that is more expensive to buy, repair, buy parts for etc.

    And lets not forget that the people that BUILD these cars say that it costs Ford between $9K and $12K to put a Panther together. Then the sell them to FLEETS at $20-$25K. Why would ANYONE want to ditch that for an unprofitable car like the D3 Taurus?

  • avatar
    jmo

    Don’t need them. Common sense tells you that a FWD Taurus that is laden with gimmicks that can break will not be able to do 100K of severe police service and then go on to do another 200-300K as a taxi.

    Seeing that a Prius doesn’t seem to have any trouble doing 300k miles with all it’s “gimmicks” makes me want to see the reliability numbers on a Crown Vic.

  • avatar
    jmo

    A CHEAP CAR TO BUY, OPERATE, and REPAIR!

    Oil’s up to $70 a barrel again – you sure about cheap to operate? Seems like a 4cyl Fusion would be much cheaper.

    Quick Question – how much gas does the average cruiser go through in a week?

  • avatar
    mikey

    @ jmo..The Prius with 300k? Got any idea what the repair cost were for 300k?

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Oil’s up to $70 a barrel again – you sure about cheap to operate?

    Yes.

    Seems like a 4cyl Fusion would be much cheaper.

    Hardly. Far too small…and the gas mileage would be terrible.

    makes me want to see the reliability numbers on a Crown Vic

    READ!

    http://www.hendonpub.com/resources/articlearchive/details.aspx?ID=373

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    p71: A Taurus won’t be able to do “severe police service”?

    Tell this guy:

    http://www.iambo.com/blog/archives/robocop%20taurus.jpg

  • avatar
    jmo

    mikey,

    300,000/17mpg * $2.50 = $41,117

    300,000/51 *$250 = $14,705.

    The Prius would have to incur $26,000 in extra repairs vs. the Crown Vic. For what I’ve been able to read about high milage taxi and fleet Prius the maintenance and repair costs have proven to be quite low. Why? Well as an example – due to the regenerative braking system the brakes and rotors on a prius last 3x as long as those on a Crown Vics.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Far too small

    Front legroom Fusion 42.3 Front Legroom Crown Vic 42.5.

    As for the perp in the back – he’ll have 37.2 vs. 39.6.

    I’m not sure I’d call that far too small.

    he gas mileage would be terrible.

    Worse than the Crown Vic?

  • avatar
    jmo

    READ!

    That was an article that compared the Crown Vic to an Impala and a Dodge Intrepid. That’s hardly what you’d call competition.

    How about a Crown Vic vs. an Accord or a Camry or a Sonata?

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Front legroom Fusion 42.3 Front Legroom Crown Vic 42.5.

    As for the perp in the back – he’ll have 37.2 vs. 39.6.

    I’m not sure I’d call that far too small

    That’s rich…how about taking measurements when they have all of the equipment in them…

    That was an article that compared the Crown Vic to an Impala and a Dodge Intrepid. That’s hardly what you’d call competition.

    How about a Crown Vic vs. an Accord or a Camry or a Sonata?

    You wanted evidence of the Crown Vics reliability and durability. You got what you asked for.

    As for an article compairing the CV to an Accord/Camry/Sonata…well…that would be a very stupid and pointless article since they are not offered as police cars. Is the Accord/Camry/Sonata pursuit rated? No…apples to apples pal…apples to apples.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Is the Accord/Camry/Sonata pursuit rated?

    They could be and I’d be willing to bet the total cost of ownership would be less than the CV. In addition, I’d rather have my taxes used to buy American made cars like a Camry or an Accord rather than some foreign POS Crown Vic.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Right before Ford bought Volvo, Volvo had a big program going to try and sell some of their 850 Police Cars to the California Highway Patrol and others. This was a common cop car in some European countries. After Ford bought Volvo they shut down that project in a skinny minute because they didn’t want anything competing with the Crown Vic. One of the Volvo club magazines ran an article on it at the time.

    The California Highway Patrol had at least one of the Volvos for testing:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/code20photog/2930313847/

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    Lest you guys forget that Ford offered a police package on the Taurus from 1990-1995. It didn’t hurt Taurus sales at all, though it didn’t sell well because the police didn’t like the front wheel drive platform and unibody design. Ford should remember that.

    Ford is in a tight spot. The Crown Victoria has a monopoly of the Taxi and Police markets, but it is terribly aged. The Crown Victoria needs a redesign, but Ford can not justify redesigning it with their current cash crunch and the fact that it is only sold to fleets.

  • avatar
    Patrickj

    @mikey

    Hybrid cabs seem to be doing just fine in NYC. As somebody who drove a cab there in the Checker days, fuel consumption on a Crown Vic operated two shifts a day is over 150 gallons a week. Cutting that in half with a hybrid is a pile of money, especially as fuel cost in Manhattan is over $3 a gallon.

    They could send the Hybrids to the crusher at 150K and still be way ahead.

    The Prius is not one of the selected NYC taxi models. Ford Escapes are the most common Hybrid, with some Camries and Altimas.

  • avatar

    Crown Vics are cheap to purchase.

    Crown Vics are also cheap to repair and service.

    You can scavenge parts from one older Crown Vic to repair a newer Crown Vic.

    Departments can reuse push bars, light bars and other equipment when they buy new Crown Vics.

    Cities can transfer Crown Vics from cop duty to other less strenuous details if they so choose.

    Cops could probably care less about fuel economy, since they use fleet charge cards to fill them up. The city could care less, since they probably have all this factored in the budgets.

    The U.S. also covers vastly more territory than most European countries combined. European nations are also a great deal more urbanized and frankly, the roads are a lot better maintained. Try getting a euro-spec Mondeo across a classic Michigan pothole.

    If the Crown Vic does indeed kick the bucket, then I highly doubt the Taurus will be able to fill its shoes. For one, the Impala will have already filled them (cheaper purchase price, cheaper repair costs). Secondly, police departments may just buy more SUVs and a sprinkling of Chargers just to further fill the void.

    Having been personally pulled over on the autobahn by an Audi A6, and seeing lots of Audi A4 (avant’s no less) in Italy – how are they able to make due with such smaller police cars?

    Simple. Whenever an arrest is made, they call on the police vans to transport suspect.

    And on another note, gremlins seem to be eating my posts.

  • avatar
    05gt

    P71 strikes again…BTW where you a cop? You seem to know a lot about police car specs.

    anyways, I dont see why Ford would want to risk their niche market like that. If they want more power, why not replace the 2 valve 4.6 with the 3 valve one in the 05+ Mustangs? Im pretty sure they cant cost that much more to produce, especially since the new 5.0 Coyote will replace the 3 valve 4.6 in the GT. If it looks to old, why not give it a simple refresh?

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    Interesting to see TTAC as reference on the Wikipedia page for the Crown Vic:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Crown_Victoria
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/ford-crown-victoria-rip/

    Was that from someone here?

  • avatar
    50merc

    Why would a lowered and slightly modified Explorer not work as a police vehicle? The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has some SUVs (Blazers or Yukons or whatever the hell those things are).

  • avatar
    willbodine

    Wouldn’t Chrysler have a better candidate for police work with a 300 body and Charger front clip/badging? Years ago that’s how they made Desotos.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    Also, if Ford kills the Panther, doesn’t that mean no more Town Cars? (And no more stretched TC limos!)

  • avatar

    You think cops do that???

    HAHAHAHA!!!!!!!

    People…get a CLUE!

    More scorn for the public from the glorified DMV employees with badges and guns.

    It’s all Hollywood and make-believe until your police union is using scare tactics to kill budget cuts. Then we’re supposed to be oh so grateful to how cops supposedly risk their lives for us.

    Only problem with that is that garbagemen have a more dangerous job than cops – and no trashman ever threatened to arrest me for telling him to do his job better.

  • avatar

    # mikey :
    August 28th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    @ Ronnie Schreiber I usually agree with most of your stuff. Me thinks your last comment,may not go over so well.

    Yeah, it really grates on the badge bunnies and holster sniffers that folks have free speech on the net.

    On the internet you can tell some authoritarian to stuff it and they can’t do a damn thing about it.

  • avatar
    Daniel J. Stern

    if Ford kills the Panther, doesn’t that mean no more Town Cars?

    That would be an added bonus, yes.

  • avatar

    Neb :
    August 28th, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    I know. Who do these “police” think they are, enforcing these “laws”?!

    Would that were true. The problem is that too many cops think that the law doesn’t apply to them. They regard the “law” as their domain, something they can use to mess you up.

    I’ll believe they care about the law when I hear that a cop got arrested for DUI without actually having caused an accident or traffic death.

  • avatar

    P71_CrownVic :
    August 28th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    jmo:
    Do we have any numbers to back that up?

    Don’t need them.

    Don’t bother cops with actual data. They don’t need no stinkin’ data.

    That’s why they’re convinced it’s “safer” to park their cruiser in a traffic lane when they pull someone over.

    The hardest culture in the world to change is your local police department.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Ronnie,

    Realize, that there are some very good people out there protecting our cities. Don’t let a few bad apples warp your sense of reality. Everytime I am out doing my various jobs, I do the absolute best job I can. Doers that mean the house may still burn down? Yes. Does that mean the patient may still die? Yes. Does that mean that a person will still get a citation? Yes. But we did our best. And if you don’t like that, why don’t you step up and become a police officer…rather than being an armchair critic.

    ————————-

    Anyway, back to the Crown Vic:

    P71 strikes again…BTW where you a cop? You seem to know a lot about police car specs.

    The same Public Safety Department I have worked at for four years now. What does that have to do with the Crown Vic?

    nyways, I dont see why Ford would want to risk their niche market like that. If they want more power, why not replace the 2 valve 4.6 with the 3 valve one in the 05+ Mustangs?

    Because the 4.6 is going away (thank god) when the 5.0 comes out.

    Why would a lowered and slightly modified Explorer not work as a police vehicle?

    Because they are un-godly slow and not pursuit rated.

    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has some SUVs (Blazers or Yukons or whatever the hell those things are).

    Probably the PPV Tahoe. The ONLY pursuit rated SUV.

  • avatar
    50merc

    P71, the term “pursuit rated” is new to me. Could you tell us what sort of criteria are used to evaluate pursuit capability? A certain minimum HP, maximum 0-to-60 time, G force in a curve, top speed, braking distance, etc. and the like?

    And I wonder how the officers like the PPV Tahoe. Sure seems like it’d be more comfortable, in view of all the gear in cop cars nowadays. Visibility (both to see and to be seen) would be a plus, it seems.

  • avatar
    doe01

    Why do cops need large/fast cars anyway. Why not give them a Cobolt. Nobody can outrun a radio/helicopter. Most of the time cops sit around and eat donuts. If they can’t fit tell them to eat fewer donuts. They could buy a few Tahoes for off road use and a few Camaros for high speed chases as well as vans for transporting prisoners but the majority of their cars should be compacts. With a few cheap mods a Cobolt could catch most speeders.

  • avatar
    mcs

    But as for most patrolling/idling, I think a Prius is better.
    The Prius has other advantages. Put the 2010 Prius into EV mode and you can sneak up on the bad guys in near silence. Another advantage is for traffic enforcement. Who’s going to slow down when they see a Prius? Lots of extra revenue guaranteed.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    P71, the term “pursuit rated” is new to me. Could you tell us what sort of criteria are used to evaluate pursuit capability? A certain minimum HP, maximum 0-to-60 time, G force in a curve, top speed, braking distance, etc. and the like?

    I’ll do some research…

    Why do cops need large/fast cars anyway.

    The CV is not fast…that being said, when your loved one is in cardiac arrest (God forbid), wouldn’t you want the people with advanced medical training and an AED there as fast as they can?

    As for size…well…police carry a lot of things. And with our squads becoming more advanced in terms of technology, they need a place to put it. 800MHz radios, cameras, computers, power supplies, etc all take up room.

    My city’s squads (like most) have the spare tire removed and all of the “brains” sit atop the “shelf” in the CV trunk.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Couldn’t the cops use a decontented version of one of the hotrod BOF SUVs like the old Grand Cherokee SRT-8 or Trailblazer SS if they need a replacement for high-speed pursuit duty that the CV used to fill?

    A lowered, RWD mid-size SUV with a V8 would seem to be a pretty close match as far as performance goes. It’s not like the CV was exactly a high-speed pursuit vehicle anywhere near the league of the old ’69 440 Dodge Polara or even the more recent LT1-powered ’94-’96 Impala.

  • avatar
    Alcibiades

    What drives me crazy about modern cars is the wholesale shift away from RWD. Let’s face it; no one would love the Panther if it were FWD. I am sick of FWD cars, and the blatant attempt by manufacturers like Ford to to shift people like me from RWD to FWD. If you like the driving experience, you prefer RWD, unless you are in snow or ice. It’s much better. My wife and I just replaced our Town Car, and we were going to buy a Taurus, which is a great car in most ways, but I couldn’t handle the thought of plucking down $30K plus for a FWD torque-steer queen. We got an Infiniti G37 instead. Where is the competitor for that in Ford’s stable? Message to Ford–you are losing a lot of customers by trying to shove FWD down our throats.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    John Williams:
    Crown Vics are cheap to purchase.

    Crown Vics are also cheap to repair and service.

    +1.
    I’m hardly a fan of the Crown Vic – my preferences run toward smaller, MT sedans. But when it comes to the fleet maintenance and TCO, the Crown Vic shines (even more so if the fleet goes to CNG).

    Ford’s whining about ending production sounds like a CAW negotiating play. Then again, maybe producing all those Crown Vics has an effect on their overall Ford’s CAFE numbers?

    It is a shame how Ford neglected this platform. As a standalone business, couldn’t the Crown Vic stand on its own as a Fleet/taxi product??? Is American capitalism so dead that a “Police-Fleet LLC” private equity firm couldn’t purchase the Crown Vic tooling/factory/patents, move production to a nice right-to-work state, and make a nice return???

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    Funny how the same people that want to see police fleets filled with weaker, less capable cars (Prious, seriously?) are the very same that have a negative opinion of police officers. Coincidence?
    I find that if I obey the law cops don’t mess with me. Even in my bright red sports car, John Q. Law doesn’t mess with me because (drumroll please) I OBEY THE LAW. So as a law obeying, tax paying citizen I don’t mind the police owning powerful vehicles, in fact I prefer it.

  • avatar
    no_slushbox

    The best pursuit police car would probably be a stripped G37. Kind of like the base Skyline sedan that is sold in Japan, and is used by the Japanese police. There’s nothing wrong with the Pontiac G8 either, but if cops are going to use a car from a pacific island the G37 the more reliable one.

    Body on frame isn’t what it used to be. The Crown Victoria has crumple zones built into the frame that hurt durability (check out the current tow ratings). NASCAR and Dale Earnhart show what can happen when a car is too rigid.

    The floor shifters aren’t a big issue, suburban cops (vast majority) ride solo and can put the computer stuff in the passenger seat.

    The Crown Vic is NOT a roomy car, it is really awful given its size. My 6’2″ frame fits better in a Civic than a Crown Vic. And the back seat is horrible in the SWB version that cops and most cabbies (in used cop cars) use (the LWB version is only for cabbies fancy enough to buy new).

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Body on frame isn’t what it used to be. The Crown Victoria has crumple zones built into the frame that hurt durability (check out the current tow ratings).

    The tow ratings on a CV are completely false. In 1997, the CV had a 5000# tow rating. In 1998, with the redesign (body…not frame), more powerful engine and bigger brakes, the tow rating DROPPED to 1500#.

    The CV had basically the same powertrain as the V8 Explorer.

    Ford didn’t want the Panthers to impact the sales of their SUVs…so they doctored the tow ratings…much like they do with the F-150.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Fair enough the Crown Vic is dinosaur technology compared to a majority of new cars out there – but how many new cars out there can go from ‘cruiser’ to ‘battering ram’ at the flick of a steering wheel? The fact is cops need a car that can pound the crap out of anything else on the road – thats what the Crown Vic does.

  • avatar
    frozenman

    Stick them in a Rav4, room for the perp, tech, shotgun, and 2 donut munchers.

  • avatar
    bodyonframe

    - Alcibiades: +1 couldn’t have said it any better.

  • avatar
    Canucknucklehead

    I will chime in with some personal observations. My family had the overflow in our shop of the local police agency for years. The real issue here is one of servicing. When you have a unit like the Crown Vic for so long, the mechanics become familiar with them and can get them back on the road pronto. It allows a department to get big discounts on consumables like brakes and tires.

    Another shocker: mechanics are often not known for being at an Einstein IQ level. A good one can swap out brakes in half an hour and get the unit rolling again. But a diesel? That is a complete non starter for North American police fleets. Why? Well, chances are the head of the maintenance is a guy names Billy Bob Beer Belly. Billy Bob rides a Hog and hate anything “ferrin.” Give him a CDI and he will automatically hate it and do everything he can to sabotage it to show the old V-8 was better. So Billy Bob can swap out a tranny pronto but there is no way he can, or even wants to learn how to, swap out a fuel rail.

    Want an example? In the 80s, LPG was very popular here as gasoline got expensive. The local constabulary got my shop to convert several cars. They ran beautifully, we did good work. However, when Billy Bob got his hands on them, he removed the spark plugs we put in, installed OEM and timed the cars for gasoline. Needless to say the ran like crap. Billy Bob didn’t like LPG because he didn’t have a gas fitter’s licence.

    AWD would also be a service nightmare in police use, for the same reasons.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Stick them in a Rav4, room for the perp, tech, shotgun, and 2 donut munchers.

    And a V-6 Rav4 could blow the doors off a crown vic.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    ^ Our city police department as well as the Sheriff’s department drive a combination of vehicles, they have a couple of mid sized SUV’s, a couple of CV’s an Impala or two and some Chargers as well. The SUV is a good option for many departments becuase they’re more rugged, reliable, roomy and at least as economical as a CV.

    Canucknucklehead: I’ve seen plenty of ‘Billy Bob’s’ who have forgotten more than most of us know about diesels, they repair truck fleets, and farm equipment.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    Let me say that I am not a Crown Vic / Town Car fan.

    Still – credit where credit is due. A friend of mine was part owner of a limo company that had a fleet of 30 or so Town Cars. He was a former mechanic, so he did most of the maintenance.

    I was stunned at how little the cars required to keep going. Regular fluid changes, tires and brakes – that’s it – for 300,000 miles.

    The routinely sold their cars with 250,000 to 300,000 miles – and they still ran pretty well. Usually they got rid of the cars due to interior dirt and wear, not mechanical failure.

    As I get older, I am starting to appreciate old designs that have the bugs worked out. I love my Grand Cherokee with the old AMC derived 4.0L inline six. It’s an old design, but it works really well.

    -ted

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    People…NOTHING about the CV is old…aside from the body.

    The frame was heavily revised in 2003 (whole front engine cradle, rear shocks moved outside the frame rails…BEFORE the 2004 F-150), the ip was redesigned in 2006, the engine saw continual improvements (2001 PI heads, 2004 new airbox and MAF), the transmission saw upgrades, etc.

    To say that the CV is old is, well ignorant.

    It would be like me saying that the F-150 is the same as the 1973 F-150 because they both have full frames and a V8…and 4 wheels, and a transmission, and seats, and gauges, and windows, and doors, and a bed.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    It seems strange that we have policies that are based on flattering the base prejudices and low IQ ignorance of Police. Since when did public policy get made by high school graduates with a bare 12 weeks of training? Most cops graduate in the bottom 20 or 10 percent of their high school class. It takes more training to learn to empty overflowing bed pans as a Certified Nurses Aid.

    “Take away their cruisers, put them on a foot patrol so they actually start treating civilians with respect instead of acting like an occupying force.”

    That is another reason they should drive a Prius. I do not them wasting my money to “jump curbs and drive offroad” and so on, so they can act out their lurid pre-juvenile fantasies of playing “cops and robbers.” And policing isn’t even in the top ten most dangerous jobs most years and some years it isn’t even in the top 20 most dangerous jobs. Therefore most of the hazy urban legends about the CV and its supposed capabilities just do not stand up to the slightest critical analysis.

    They just don’t need pushbars, shotguns, automatic weapons, cages, laptops or any of the other things that give them an inflated sense of self. .

  • avatar
    jmo

    P71_CrownVic,

    Any luck of finding a defition of pursuit rated?

    I just looked at the numbers and a Camry V-6 SE should be able to run circles around a CV.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Well, first off, ‘pursuit rated’ is my term.

    Chevrolet calls it “High Speed Emergency Vehicle Operations”

    It’s not about speed, HP, etc, it’s about sustained speed.

    The difference between the PPV Tahoe and the Special Service Tahoe are not all that special…just some extra HD coolers (power steering, engine oil, trans fluid), different drive shaft, 2WD, different tires, etc.

    But never the less, the vehicle has to be able to sustain that speed…and Chevy says that the PPV Tahoe can while the special service Tahoe:
    “has not been designed nor intended for use in high speed emergency vehicle operations”.

    Even the Crown Vic gets a longer tailshaft housing in the back of the trans thus requiring a shorter (and aluminum) drive shaft. The Civilian model gets a steel drive shaft that is longer. And the reason for that is due to the high speed requirements that the car has to meet.

  • avatar
    octothorpe

    My city uses Impalas which seem to work out OK for them. It’s an old city with lots of narrow twisty streets and getting anything bigger wouldn’t make much sense.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Maybe it’s just me, but when watching dash-cam videos of high-speed police pursuits, if unimpeded (clear roads with no traffic), the perpetrator never seems to have much difficulty in pulling away from the police vehicle (invariably a CV), regardless of what they’re driving. The only thing that seems to slow down the person being chased (which allows the CV to catch-up and ultimately end the chase) is heavy traffic. Chases are never shown where the police were easily eluded due to an inability to keep up. When the police are using CVs, I suspect there were many. This gross inability of the police vehicle (CV) to quickly overtake a potential criminal would seem dangerous in that it prolongs the chase.

    The crux of the issue was Ford’s decision to eliminate all of their pushrod engines and go entirely with the Modular (cammed) line of V8 engines in the Panther, beginning in 1992. Although figures are curiously unavailable, the suspected problem of a lack of sufficient torque from the 4.6L V8 (in comparison to the previously used 351W) always meant it was overburdened in a vehicle the weight of a CV. Ford couldn’t come up with enough of an economic justification to keep the much more torquey (but gas thirsty) 351W pushrod police CV.

    One wonders if GM had made the decision to keep the much more suitable (for heavy duty fleet duty) RWD Caprice back in 1996 if the CV would still be in production today. It’s worth noting that there were several times in its recent history that the CV had been slated for cancellation but was invariably given a reprieve. GM essentially divided the domestic, full-size market by focusing the new, 1997 FWD Impala on the light-duty civilian/rental fleet market, giving Ford sole possession of the heavy-duty police/taxi market by default. That decision by GM is likely the only reason the Modular V8 Panther has survived to this day.

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    Maybe it’s just me, but when watching dash-cam videos of high-speed police pursuits, if unimpeded (clear roads with no traffic), the perpetrator never seems to have much difficulty in pulling away from the police vehicle (invariably a CV), regardless of what they’re driving.

    That’s because police cars are slow…

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    And they should even be slower, if necessary to get the best fuel mileage. These fish-lipped, wall-eyed Barney Fifes cannot and will not act in the public interest, unless they are forced to. Heck, they would still eagerly be yanking and lynching black people out of jail if it weren’t for the outraged public overruling and scrutinizing their every move.

    They need to be closely taught and tightly supervised to act in OUR best interest, not THEIRS. Personally, I don’t think a cop should be allowed to make any warrantless arrests without a prior okay by a disinterested magistrate. They have been caught redhanded in deceit just too many times to take their word for anything.

    Their uninformed prejudice in favor of CV’s is an example of studied ignorance and rebelling against the public will. A cop that likes CVs is also the kind of cop that stops every black motorist he comes across. Why should we pander to their bigotted prejudices, at our expense, in favor of a relic of a gas guzzler?

    Its our money, not theirs.

  • avatar
    armadamaster

    More Chargers and Tahoes for everyone.

    Because thats what will be filling the gap left by the CV.

    It wure won’t be the Taurus….especially considering how spectacular the cheaper WImpala has done.

    The business case through 2016/CAFE is an obvious one, so obvious in fact, it continues to elude Ford. A mild reskin and parts bin update would get the car through to 2016 when CAFE will eliminate anything larger than a Fusion anyway.

    We are witnessing the death of the best built, longest lasting, safest sedan Ford makes folks, and the best selling Mercury nameplate and Lincoln nameplate ever. If Toyota or Honda treated their perspective best selling sedans this it would be a crime, when Ford does it, it somehow makes business sense?

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    BTW, Ford is working on a column-shift for the D3PI.

  • avatar
    secretagent

    As an LEO I see the vehicles used by my agency abused on a daily basis. If maintained well, which my agency dispite its high profile and budget does not do, the crown vic is nearly indestructable. If allowed to be neglected, like our vehicles are, they still hang on a long while.
    The CVPI is the best vehicle for the job currently in production. That is not to say it is perfect or even the best vehicle for the job. The 1994-96 LT1 Caprice, is still a better vehicle. If it was kept in production and allowed to evolve I have no doubt it would be even greater along with forcing the CVPI to be better as well. These people saying that cars in their area are rarely used for high stress activities and a prius could do the job are flawed in their thinking. Cops rarely use their guns, so why dont we just get the cheapest piece of junk out there. You dont buy cop cars based on what they do most of the time. You buy them based on what they might have to do when that dark day comes. You do not want the people charged with our security relying on a Prius.

  • avatar
    secretagent

    This issue is deeper than cop cars and extends to all cars. FWD unibody cars are not prevelant today because of fuel or safety concerns. It is all about saving a buck. If car companies could get away with taking away cupholders or the fenders they would but people would notice. So instead they get rid of the frame, the rear axle and the drive shaft and charge you the same for an inferior product cuz the average idiot doesn’t notice and if they do they buy into it being newer, better, more efficient. WRONG.


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