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After serving for more than 30 years, the Ford Crown Victoria has established a sterling reputation as the police car of choice. Ford is ending production of the Crown Vic Police Interceptor at the company’s St. Thomas, Ontario, factory and despite stopping sales of Crown Vics to consumers in 2008, Ford continues to make them available to fleets.
Sales to law enforcement agencies have been increasing as Ford prepares to launch new police vehicles based on the Taurus and Explorer. Through the first seven months of the year, Crown Vic sales are up 64 percent to 35,203 units. The Crown Vic enjoyed widespread success due to its two bench, six passenger seating layout and gearshift mounted on the steering column. The vehicle was introduced in 1983 and was the top choice of law enforcement in 1996-2010. The Crown Vic’s death was further pushed by the federal government requiring automakers to boost their average fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 and to 54 mpg by 2025. The Crown Vic’s 16 mpg city mileage is not very appealing, nor efficient.
Currently, the Crown Vic makes up about 70 percent of the police vehicle market, but Ford’s new offerings aren’t being warmly received by police departments. One officer told the Detroit Free Press that he was stocking up on Crown Vic’s, as the new Ford offerings were inadequate for their needs. The officer stated that the Dodge Charger and Chevrolet Caprice were being looked at, something Ford does not want to happen.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
While the Chevrolet Caprice is reserved for police vehicle fleets only, there have been some rumors about a civilian version making its way to showrooms for public consumption, and the latest videos showing footage of a police evaluation event only seem to further that.
Previous shots of the Caprice have either shown it in full police livery, or an “unmarked” version which ditched the lightbar and graphics but still retained the steel wheels and blacked out grilles. But the Caprices used in the latest video look like they could be sold to customers, if not for the small flashing lights hidden in the front fascia. Otherwise, the alloy wheels and interior devoid of any police equipment look pretty production ready. If it’s any consolation, we pressed one GM engineer at the Camaro Convertible launch about such a vehicle, and he answered with a wry smile, stating “these things have a way of happening”.
Video after the jump