Caprice Launch: The Thunder From Down Under

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • DangerousDave DangerousDave on Oct 06, 2009

    My neighbor is a state trooper who runs an unmarked Charger and he hates the thing. He said the Crown Vic he had before the Charger was 100 times better all around. He had an Impala before the CV and ranks the cars CV, Impala, Charger. I guess if you live in a car 8 hours a day it doesn't take long to figure out which of those you have driven over the past few years is the best.

  • Andrew van der Stock Andrew van der Stock on Oct 06, 2009

    @psarhjinian - the Caprice is significantly bigger in every direction than a Crown Vic. It's a LWB car with about a meter of rear leg room (about three feet between the squab of the cushy seats that would likely be ripped out for a smaller and safer easy hose out back seat with no seams). That would still leave heaps of room for barriers and so on AND have room for folks in the backseat. I've been in the back seat of a Crown Vic taxi many times and that's positively cramped compared to even the short wheelbase version of this car. The car is HUGE. It has huge comfy seats, easily able to cope with my 150 kg body (and thus would cope with both tall and "stout" cop frames). I think you'll like it if you get to try one. Unlike most sedans which have frankly hilarious trunks, this is a true five or six body boot, more if they're dead. You'll be able to get a lot of stuff in there. The suspension is designed to cope with atrocious Australian roads. The only roads I found in the US as bad as our *standard* roads were upstate NY roads with potholes that were roughly car sized. Your roads are track smooth compared to ours. There is no doubt in my mind that the suspension in this car, besides being IRS and actually able to keep up with WRXs and MX-5s around bends, would stand up to the sort of abuse you see in Cops and World's Worst Drivers. Lastly, the SWB version of this car makes up ~ 100% of all Australian police cars (not divvy vans though - they're typically Falcon utes with a custom prisoner enclosure). They have a special suspension pack (FE1.5) and calibrated speedo (you can tell if you're doing 97 or 98 km/h without squinting), amongst many other changes, like dash space for laptops and police equipment. Holden know how to make a police pack. For anything that doesn't require serious off roading (and even then, it's used widely out in the bush), this car is a much better choice than a SUV. Andrew

  • Armadamaster Armadamaster on Oct 07, 2009

    Be interesting if this coaxes Ford into doing that long overdue parts bin update of the CV and extending it through CAFE in 2016, but I am not holding my breath. Only way I can see then making money on this by offering retail also, if they can the ancient WImpala and market this as their NA RWD Impala and leave most of the old W-body sales for the new Malibu. As it stands right now the new Malibu is actually hurt by the WImpala since it directly competes with it, and the ancient WImpala offers more car for less money between those two.

  • V65magnafan1 V65magnafan1 on Oct 07, 2009

    Purchasing agents consider a number of factors other than price. It is true that Ford could cut the price of the P71 and still make some $$$. And purchasing agents would consider MPG, tire and part replacement costs, ease of repair and other factors before dropping the P71s for an unknown quantity. What other factors? Where I live, Chevy police packages are despised by the rank and file because they and their duty belts cannot get comfortable in them. Downtime is also a consideration. The rank and file absolutely drive the **** out of the Chevys to get them out of service ASAP. However, they like the Fords. Also, I have heard from sources that the Chrysler products are simply not reliable as police vehicles. I would bet that the Chevys and Chryslers have more downtime than the Fords. This is an expense because another vehicle must replace them. Moreover, I can assure you that Fords, with the space underhood and underneath, can be worked on easily, except for the sparkplugs closest to the firewall. There's another factor--marketing. I believe that there is a halo effect around each P71 the public sees on the road. A marked P71 leaves an impression in the minds of motorists. "If the police buy those cars, they must be tough." On the other hand, it is true that a certain segment buys only on appearances. Nothing Ford can do to the Panther will grab those people as customers. Ford seem to be one of those companies that got rid of the deadwood and actually has intelligent management. Suppose the P71 abandonment story is just a ploy? GM and Chry. will pour billions into developing a new cop car, Ford will throw a new front clip onto the P71, drop the price, and keep the market.

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