Unfamiliar-appearing taxicabs won’t be the only new look on American streets in a couple of years. Police sedans too will be all different as Ford’s venerable Crown Victoria Police Interceptors (CVPIs) are retired.
The giant change is triggered by Ford’s decision to close its St. Thomas, Ontario, assembly plant in September 2011, ending the production of its “Panther” family of large rear-drive sedans – sold as the Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car- after a remarkable run of 33 years.
At a recent meeting of the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) in Detroit, Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge revealed details of future police cars.
The biggest news was the revelation that Chevrolet plans to import an all-new Caprice rear-drive V8 model from Australia, supposedly just for police use. In case you were wondering, the 2012 Caprice PPV is not a Chevy-badged version of the well-received, but poor selling, Pontiac G8 that was discontinued when General Motors shut down Pontiac last year.
This new Caprice has a different, longer body than the G8, mounted on a 118.5-inch wheelbase, versus the G8’s 114.8. Overall length will be 204.2 inches, eight inches longer than the G8, while width is the same and overall height, an inch more. Moreover, the engine is a 6-liter V8 with a claimed 355 horsepower.
The Chevy rep at the NAHA meeting maintained that GM has no plans to offer a civilian version of this car in the U. S., although it is clearly based on a civilian Holden model from Down Under.