Motor Trend has more:
With the legendary Ford Crown Victoria-based Police Interceptor no longer in production, it's no surprise that the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has been searching for an all-new vehicle to replenish its fleet. What is surprising is the vehicle the CHP chose -- the Explorer-based Ford Police Interceptor Utility. Look for it in your rearview mirror beginning early next year.I'm glad they went with Ford. Ford still makes a great car (my Explorer has over 130,000 miles on it and runs like a top). It would have bothered me to see them buy cars from Government Motors.
While a win for Ford, the CHP's selection of an SUV is a potentially troubling sign for the much-hyped cop car offerings the Detroit Three have been pitching hard to fill the void left by the departure of the Crown Vic. And there's a good reason why: payload.
While the old-school, body-on-frame Crown Victoria may have been a rolling tank, the suitors to its throne are all modern unibodies. That may make them lighter and safer, but it doesn't increase their carrying capacity. In fact, it seems to have lowered it, because while the Crown Vic had no trouble carrying all the CHP's gear, the Taurus-based Police Interceptor Sedan, Dodge Charger Pursuit, and Chevrolet Caprice PPV all lack the necessary payload capacity.
The CHP insists that its cruisers be able to safely carry all their equipment plus four fully equipped officers. In all, the CHP says that can add up to roughly 1700 pounds. That's a problem for the new crop of police sedans, because the beefiest of them, Ford's Police Interceptor Sedan, can only carry about 1200 pounds of people and gear. Simply put, the Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings of the sedans were too low to get the job done. What's a state trooper to do? Go big.
Of course, I don't ever want to see one of these unless it's leaving me alone.