Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black and White Police Car Models - After Crown Victoria

Dodge Charger police car

Chevy Caprice police car

Ford Taurus police car.

The old blue and white police colours on the Crown Victoria car in Winnipeg

The new black and white police colours on the Crown Victoria car in Winnipeg

The Winnipeg Police Service will have to look for a new police car model for next year. The favoured car for Winnipeg's finest is being retired in 2011. The Ford Crown Victoria is the choice of police car for nearly 70% of the fleets out there in North America now.

The rear-wheel vehicles have been able to stand an incredible amount of abuse and are tank-like in size and demeanour. Unfortunately for Ford, the vehicles are not big sellers in the non-fleet world. Consumer shy away from the large vehicles with unlovable lines. Once tax drivers started switching their vehicles around North America to cars like Toyota Prius, the writing was on the wall for the old Vics.

There are three possible sedan choices for the Winnipeg Police to switch to. Ford is trying to convince departments like Winnipeg to consider the front and all-wheel drive Ford Taurus plus a Ford sport utility vehicle available in 2012.

It is tough to convince the police purchasing departments though. The old Vics were rear-wheel drive and the officers would have to be re-trained at considerable expense. The rear wheel drive cars are thought to handle better for police use. Also, the old Vics were body on frame construction which meant that damaged panels were easier and cheaper to replace.

The Ford Taurus will have a powerful V6 but will be fuel efficient.

For rear wheel drive hungry police leaning to even more powerful V8 engines, GM has the Chevy Caprice. It has rather graceless lines but more interior space which is important when you consider all the equipment that has to be carried inside including weapons, on-board computer, communication system and rear passenger shields.

It is reported that the seats are better for police equipment and weapons belts as well.

The old Chevy Caprice cars were retired back in 1996 and were a favourite for police departments. This new version is built in Australia under the Holden brand.

My guess is that the Winnipeg Police would jump on this car in a hurry. However, the problem is that GM has not yet decided if the car will be available in Canada. It seems a good bet that it might but so far nothing has been reported.

The last possible car for the Winnipeg police to choose is Chrysler's offering which is the Dodge Charger. In the last couple of years, Chrysler has been placing this car with any TV series willing to take them. Watch an NCIS episode and they are always present. See if you can count all the series you might have seen them in.

It is that important for Chrysler to get their name out. In the last 20 years most police departments have usually only had Fords or Chevys in their fleets.

The Dodge Chargers have V6 or V8 rear wheel drive vehicles. They have more graceful, muscular lines as well.

A year awaits before we know which cars are truly available and what the criteria Winnipeg Police will use to base their purchase on.

It remains to be seen whether the police will even brief the public on all this. The decision to change the colours of the police cars was an internal one. We were never given a reason why or who chose the colours and no public input was asked for.

Our city council seems uninterested in any of this or about asking about what the police are doing in general according to what has transpired at one community meeting in the last month.

It is highly probable that one day we'll just see the new cars on the road and we'll never know why it was those cars were chosen over other cars.

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Riverman said...

"Unfortunately for Ford, the vehicles are not big sellers in the non-fleet world. Consumer shy away from the large vehicles with unlovable lines."

Not true. The Crown Vic has not been available to the public for years. When the Ford 500 (now the Taurus) was introduced it didn't sell, it was outsold by the CV by a huge margin. This spelled it's demise as it competed with the 500 for sales and crappy FWD unibody cars are much cheaper to produce.

I was lucky to find a lightly used ex-fleet CV and I will be trying to find a 2011 as well. Bad mileage? How's 31 mpg highway at 80 mph?

John Dobbin said...

Ford indicated at some of the trade shows that the declining numbers for larger vehicles was the writing on the wall. You are probably right that the company didn't want the old Vics competing with their other models.

I believe the mileage that police forces around North America are worried about are with fully loaded Vics with all the additional work done to them. No doubt it has an impact on urban driving. The recession has really put a focus on ever greater gas mileage.

With so many taxi companies switching over from the Vic, Ford probably thought it was time to retire the brand.

Funny thing is that GM once thought that retiring the Chevy Caprice was the right answer and now it is probably top of the list for forces looking to replace their fleets.

Riverman said...

Yes it is funny. At least Chevy will have a real car in their fleet while Ford will not. A heavy duty car needs a frame.

Best info source for Crown Vic stuff is

John Dobbin said...

Thanks for the link!

I wonder when we will hear the choices made by the Winnipeg Police in the next year or so.

A lot of the time we don't hear the criteria for their choices.

trevortbt said...

I saw a dodge charger police car marked up black and white and it was in regular patrol also they have a ford taurus they are both test vehicles i only saw the taurus at the transit garage it wasnt marked up yet they put the radios in at the transit garage