No, “UVs” in the headline is not a typo, and it doesn’t mean Ultra Violet, as in sunrays, either. But I confess I’m not sure whether to call Ford’s new Explorer an SUV (“Sport Utility Vehicle” as it has been for the last 20 years) or CUV (“Crossover Utility Vehicle,” meaning car-based as opposed to truck-based).
So I punted: just plain Utility Vehicle.
Ford punts, too, in its official release of the new Explorer-based 2012 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, announced today as a companion to the Taurus-based Ford Police Interceptor announced earlier as replacement for the venerable Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (CVPI) that ends production a year from now, next September.
Ever since Chevrolet abandoned building in Texas rear-wheel-drive V8 sedans at the end of the 1996 model run, the GM brand has tried to hold onto its share of the police market with another Chevy rear-drive V8, the Tahoe SUV for police service. Later it introduced a front-wheel-drive V6 Impala police vehicle, which has had modest acceptance, especially for urban and government police forces such as Park Rangers and MPs on Army bases, where its fuel economy appealed to cost-conscious fleet managers.
In the meantime, Ford police sales from the CVPI zoomed to 60% or more of the niche market, as noted in previous TDB accounts. But many police forces found the Chevy SUV police vehicle attractive for carrying K-9 pooches and for their general roominess so Ford’s domination was under pressure.