• Aug 14, 2007
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In a sign of the impending apocalypse, Michigan police departments are steadily switching from the stalwart Ford Crown Victoria to less expensive FWD Chevy Impalas with more efficient V6 engines. Oakland county plans on saving $220,000 per year in lower fuel and vehicle costs by making the switch. Wayne County, which includes Detroit, began switching to the Impalas in 2005. While the Crown Vic looks almost cool in interceptor guise, the body-on-frame tank on wheels isn't exactly fast with its 239hp V8 engine, so the Impala should at least equal its velocity in high-speed chases. The county fleets will be transformed over a number of years, but the strategy may be short-lived due to the pending arrival of the RWD Impala in 2009 or 2010.

Time will tell if the Impalas will hold up as well as the RWD Crown Vics, especially when the FWD cars jump a curb at speed, but for counties struggling to keep funding, hundreds of thousands of dollars per year is hard to pass up.

[Source: Freep via Jalopnik]



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  • 45 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      lower fuel costs...hmmm...how about not idling the car while talking to another cop in the middle of the road. That might cut down on fuel consumption.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why aren't they using the SS version which has a 300hp V8 engine?
        • 7 Years Ago
        It takes premium fuel.
        Too much speed, not enough brakes.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm not a cop, but do work with a police department that tried an Impala a couple years ago. I hope Chev has beefed up the police package even more than it was then. That Impala ('03?) was falling apart barely a year, this in a department that keeps their cars at least 4-5 years. We once watched an officer light up on somebody, only to see eveything suddenly go dark. Talked to the officer later and he said the trick was to open and slam the drivers door for the electricals to kick back in...while doing 45mph... Real safe huh?
      Bryan
      • 7 Years Ago
      I can see front wheel drive okay for smaller towns, but when it comes to the big city, they cannot hold up like rwd. My grandmother is a retired police officer, and she would not have anything but a Crown victoria. She said the old Caprices and fwd impalas just do not hold up as well.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I recall Motor Trend or Car and Driver doing a cop car comparo a few months back. They had the Crown Vic vs. Impala vs. Charger.

      http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/112_0704_police_car_comparison/
        • 7 Years Ago
        If I recall correctly, didn't they crown the Impala as the overall winner? I seem to recall it being, quite shockingly, faster and more adept at handling than the decades-old Crown Victoria... And I think dollar-for-dollar in the long term, the two cars are going to be cheap to maintain (given how old the W-Body is as well).

        I'm from Michigan, and the State Police are in the process of changing to Dodge Chargers as of now. I saw my second State Charger today, and I have to say they stand out a bit more than the Crown Vic, more than the Impala would ever dream of.

        Wait for the rear-drive Impala, and I think the Michigan State Police will be sticking to the cars for a long, long time.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The local PD tried Impalas. They were constantly out of service for transmission repairs. You can buy a lot of gasoline for the cost of a rebuilt transmission.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Sigh. I never warmed to the crown vics here in Michigan, but there were few things more badass looking than the state police caprices they had before the crown vics. That blue with one red light and the flat black cow pusher? Damn, those things were hot.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't know why people keep harping on the Crown Vic's looks. At least that one looks like a real police car.

      The Impala, especially in the police version, has that plastic toy car feel of just about any of the Asian imports. Boring!

      If I was a police officer I would not feel good at all about this switch. This has to be the most uncool cop car ever built.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ha.. thats what I was thinking of, makes it easier to out run them.. A 150HP bike can out run radio.

      Cops have got in trouble a few times here for crashing into things/people chasing people for no real reason.
        • 7 Years Ago
        That's funny. I don't know how many times I have seen crotch rockets blaze past me on the freeway then two miles down the road, they are pulled over or are in the back of a police cruiser. That kind of mentality has gotten a few people I know into serious trouble.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I guess you forgot about the helocopter? Bikes are fast but when you get them into side streets it become a driver on driver. I can't tell you how many time one of these crotch rockets does this in our city. Hell they all run! Many times they get way ahead and turn into the side streets and can't take a turn with a crap. I can tell you of at least three times that I can remember driving right beside the idiot and could, if allowed, ram the bike but at that point we both really know who the winner and LOSER was!! I really like it when I pull up on one that runs from us and we find him down the road with a bone sticking out!! OUCH
      • 7 Years Ago
      Impalas have been holding their own in the abuse of police service. The Impala is a tough car.
      I`m starting to see a lot of Dodge Chargers show up in law enforcement. In light of this I think Ford has got about all the mileage it can from the old Crown Victoria platform.
      The Michigan State police will weigh heavy on their desission to switch vehicles of choice. The Impala in FWD form is no stranger to police work.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Our local PD is changing to Chargers. They've used Crown Vics for ages, but the V6 Charger does the same job for less gas money yet is still RWD. The unmarked units (for the detectives and honchos) were bought earlier this year, and I'm told we can expect the first of the marked ones before Thanksgiving.

      They did try Impalas briefly, but after the first couple of transmissions went *kaboom* and another officer went over a parking lot curb at 30 MPH and did $2,500 worth of damage, the cars were gone surprisingly quickly.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "In NYC all the police cruisers are Impalas, FWD for the poor winter weather. "


      No all the RMPs are not Impalas. Some of them are Crown Vics, Highway just got a stack of Chargers and tons of cops run around in vans and trucks.

      That being said-if an Impala can survive being an RMP in the Bronx, well it can survive anywhere. I'm not thinking they are any less safe than Crown Vics either.
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