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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]