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Ford ends Crown Vic for more modern cop car

January 11, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The cop car you're used to seeing everywhere, from high speed pursuits to escorting dignitaries, is nearing the end of the road.Ford is discontinuing the Crown Victoria, used by just about every law enforcement agency in the country, to make a more modern patrol car.

By the end of the year, the "Crown Vic," as it has become known, will be history.

"The main reason the Crown Victoria is going away is because technology has advanced," said Ford engineer Carl Widmann.

But ford doesn't want to give up the lucrative police business, so they're readying an all-new cop car based on the Taurus sedan.

Engineers at Ford have been hard at work trying to ensure the new interceptor is accepted by officers. The biggest challenge is making a front or all-wheel drive car handle like a rear-wheel drive one in emergency maneuvers.

Ford has been demonstrating that the new interceptor can more than keep up with the old one.

But for officers on the job, it's about more than just performance and toughness.

"Day in and day out? Comfort, durability," said Los Angeles Police Department Officer Justin Bergmann. "We carry a lot of gear now."

Ford's domestic rivals would like more of a piece of the action, too.

Dodge has made inroads in recent years with its Charger, and an updated version will debut soon.

Meanwhile, General Motors reached over to its Australian branch for a new V-8, rear-drive cop car available to public agencies only.

Times change, and sometimes a favorite member of the force has to hang up the badge.