Friday, March 31, 2006

Will Charger replace Crown VIc as Police Cruiser of choice?

AutoBlog has a great piece on the pilot program where 15 Dodge Chargers will be tested by the New York Police Department, with a link to a Police forum, where they discuss the car and the likelyhood that they will ever see them. Of the 15 cars, 5 will have 5.7L Hemi 340 hp V8's and the remaining 10 will have the 3.5L V6 with 250 hp. One commentor on the linked forum points out that even the V6 Chargers have more power than the 4.6 L V8 Crown Vics, which have 239 hp. But all question the size of the rear seat. There were also comments about the fact that each of these cars costs more than a new NYPD recruit ( I think they mean the Hemi R/T models.)
So does the Crown Vic have to worry? Well not in New York really, the Charger shouldn't have much of an impact on the NYPD's fleet of Crown Vics. Why? You may ask is this?
Because Chevy beat Chrysler to the punch long ago with the new Impala. Now I don't live in New York City itself, but I did grow up there, and live in the suburbs. Most Police vehicles I see when I'm in the city are either the Chevy Impala or this....

The Ford Explorer with V6. These two are suplimented by Ford Econoline vans and Various Ford Super Duty trucks with utility bodies. The Charger may see some use in unmarked duty, but unless Chrysler bring the stretch version of the 300 over the Charger seems too expensive and no larger than the Impala. If Ford were really interested in tapping this market, the 500 would be the vehicle to do it. Just as I've said about Taxi fleets, the 500 would be the correct choice for Municipal Police Departments like New York, Boston, Washington DC and many others. The only Police forces that need the larger V8 sedans seem to be buying Crown Victorias still, but with lawsuits over gas tank fires, Ford needs a new Rear Wheel Drive sedan soon. A simple facelift won't do for the Crown Victoria, and the Charger would be more appropriate for these Highway Patrols.


Racedriven said...

Here's a little note on the new Dodge Charger.. The dodge charger was build with 4 doors instead of 2 door coupe because dodge wanted it to be a police cruiser. (I read it somewhere, but can't find the article.)

Now that the Chevy Impala is too small, maybe the Ford 500 vs. the Dodge Charger for the next police cruiser.

Its rumored that Ford is going to continue building the Crown Vic for the next 3 years for Police Cruisers only. Who knows...

Anonymous said...

the crown victorias v8 has more torque than the chrysler v6, and more power at lower rpm's too, which is more important in police car duty. Also hp is just a function of torque over time, and these cars never really get into the high end of the rev range especially in the city.


Shawn said...

I read the of the post says the Charger didn't pass all of the safty standards...I wonder what.

Big Ford Fan said...

Hey Brian, I wouldn't be surprised if the decision to build the Charger was influenced by the chance to sell patrol cars and taxis, but I'm sure it had more to do with the common chassis of the 300/Magnum and the fact that the 2 door coupe market is so small. But for those that want it, the Challenger may be on the way.

The 500 would be a natural for cities like New York and the advantage of available all wheel drive helps.

I had heard that Ford will continue selling Panther Vehicles (Crown Vic, Grand Marquis and Town Car) unitl 2009.

qp, welcome to a new reader, I'm sure you're right, but I was just pointing out the comment in their forum. The Crown Victoria should have the 300 hp Mustang 3 valve V8 though.

Anonymous said...

'05 crown vics actually have increased HP to 250 with an optional 3.55 gear. I heard the Dodge's didn't pass all the safety standards due to poor braking the first test, however passed the second time round without changing anything. Apparently it was driver error that sent the Dodge into the wall but the driver wouldn't accept he messed up....again, it's just what I heard.