Police vehicles are a crucial part of an Officers day to day job. Let’s take a closer look at some of the vehicles we see Officers use on Live PD.
Ford Crown Victoria
Possibly the most iconic Police vehicle ever. We’ve all seen them. Even us outside of the US (that’s me!) instantly recognize this iconic vehicle. The Ford Crown Victoria was produced by Ford from 1992 – 2011, and spanned over two generations.
The Crown Victoria was built upon the Panther platform, which was the same platform used for the Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis. What was unique about this platform was the chassis. The Panther platform used body-on-frame design. This made it cheaper to repair as apposed to a unibody design. Simply put, a body-on-frame means the body of the car is quite literally placed on top of the frame of the car. A unibody design means the body of the car and the chassis are together as on piece. There are also a few advantages to this design. Especially for Police vehicles. There are (but not limited to);
- Cheaper and easier to repair after accidents
- Easier and cheaper to build, design and modify
- Much more durable – especially for off road use
The Ford Crown Victoria was powered by a 4.6L modular V8 engine. This allowed the CVPI to go 0-60 in about 7.5 seconds. Although no rocket, it provided Police departments with the grunt they needed to keep up in pursuits and respond to calls in a timely manner.
The final Ford Crown Victoria rolled off the production line in September 15, 2011 and was exported to Saudi Arabia. With the end of the CVPI also came the end of the St. Thomas Assembly plant which took 1,000 jobs with it.
Today many departments have replaced their Crown Vic’s with Ford Police Interceptors, Ford Police Interceptor Utility’s, Dodge Chargers or even the Australian-built Chevrolet Caprice.
Ford Police Interceptor (Sedan)
With the demise of the Crown Victoria, Ford announced the Ford Police Interceptor. The FPIS is a Ford Taurus fitted with various Police equipment along with some changes such as a column-shifted automatic transmission, upgraded cooling, suspension and electrical systems and steel wheels. The Interceptor version also drops the MyTouch system.
Ford offers four engine variants with the FPIS and they are;
- 3.5L Ti-VCT V6 FFV
- 3.7L Ti-VCT V6 FFV
- 3.5L EcoBoost V6
- 2.0 L EcoBoost I4
The Ford Police Interceptor comes standard with an all-wheel drive drive train or an optional front wheel drive, which can only be paired with the 2.0L EcoBoost I4 or 3.5L Ti-VCT V6.
With these new cars brought new costs. Unlike swapping from one Crown Vic to a later model Crown Vic, these new vehicles meant Departments had to buy new partitions and center console equipment.
Ford Police Interceptor (Utility)
The Ford Police interceptor Utility was another replacement for the Ford Crown Victoria. Although based off the civilian Ford Explorer, the FPIU like the sedan Police Interceptor variant is not available for sale to the general public. Other differences between the FPIU and your Mom’s civilian Explorer include a column-shifted automatic transmission, steel wheels, upgraded cooling, suspension and electrical systems and tailgate release switch that is accessible from the front seat.
The FPIU comes with a 3.7L naturally aspirated engine packing 304 horsepower (226kW) although it is also available with the 3,5 Ecoboost, packing 365 horsepower (272kW)
Dodge Charger Pursuit
The Charger Pursuit is Dodge’s entry to the Police vehicle market. The Charger comes with either a 3.6L V6 Pentastar engine delivering 292 horsepower (217kW) or the beefy 5.7L Hemi packing a whopping 370 horsepower (275kW) sending the power to the rear wheels.
Much like other Police variant vehicles it comes with a few changes your civilian model would not get. Some of these include slightly larger seats to accommodate for police tool belts, ballistic panels, performance suspension, bigger brakes and even a ‘officer protection package’ which sounds an alert chime and locks doors when the car detects motion around the rear of the vehicle.
Chevrolet Caprice PPV
Built in Adelaide, South Australia, the Chevrolet Caprice PPV is a modified WM/WN Holden Caprice and GM’s answer to the Police vehicle market. The PPV comes with a 3.6L SIDI engine or a larger 6.0L V8 SFI engine with AFM (Active Fuel Management) sending power to the rear wheels.
Police only features include a larger drivers seat to accommodate for police tool belts, special tuning and performance suspension. The PPV also received the Holden Commodore Omega’s interior rather than the tradition Holden Caprice luxury interior.
Unlike it’s Australian counterpart, the 2014 update came with the option of a column-shift automatic transmission to allow for more Police equipment in the console.
With GM shutting down Holden’s Elizabeth plant in South Australia, the PPV Caprice is no longer produced. Holden ended all local manufacturing in October, 2017 which also saw the demise of the Chevrolet SS, based upon the Holden Commodore SS.