Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor
|1992 to 2011|
|Manufacturer||Ford Motor Company|
|Also called||Ford Crown Victoria P71 (1998-2009) Ford Crown Victoria P7B (2010-2011)|
|Assembly||St. Thomas, Canada|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Successor||Ford Police Interceptor Sedan Ford Police Interceptor Utility|
After the discontinuation of the Chevrolet Caprice, the Ford Motor Company held a near-monopoly on the market for police cruisers in the United States and Canada for over a decade, because the conventional rear-wheel drive, V8 power, and body-on-frame construction are advantageous for police use. The CVPI's body-on-frame construction allowed inexpensive repairs after collisions without the need to straighten the chassis. Rear-wheel drive made the car easier to avoid spin-outs during hard maneuvers than front drive rivals, and allowed it to better withstand rough driving over curbs and other obstacles in the urban environment.
Although the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor was not sold to the general public, they are widely available via secondhand in North America once they are decommissioned and no longer in service in law enforcement and fleet duty. The cars are in demand by taxi companies, those who want a safe car, and those who need a car with a bench seat which can take three passengers in the back. The Crown Victoria Police Interceptor came equipped with many heavy duty parts such as a revised transmission, and a 187 kW (254 PS; 251 hp) engine. Used Crown Victoria Police Interceptor are normally stripped of any police decals, computer equipment, police radios, and emergency lights before being sold or auctioned to the public.
Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor First generation 1992 to 1997
|Body and chassis|
|Related||Mercury Grand Marquis Lincoln Town Car|
|Engine||4.6 L Modular V8|
|Transmission||4-speed AOD/AOD-E automatic 4-speed 4R70W automatic|
|Wheelbase||114.4 in (2,906 mm)|
|Length||1992–1994: 212.4 in (5,395 mm) 1995–97: 212.0 in (5,385 mm)|
|Width||77.8 in (1,976 mm)|
|Height||1992–1994: 56.7 in (1,440 mm) 1995–97: 56.8 in (1,443 mm)|
Though the name has been officially in use since 1992, the 1979–1991 full-size LTDs and LTD Crown Victorias and 1992 updated body style used the "P72" production code designation for both fleet and taxi and police models, with the model itself being internally classified as S (similar to LX). From 1993 to 1997, the police car models of the Crown Victoria were officially known as Crown Victoria P71s.
In the 1993 model year, the Crown Victoria was given a chrome front grille and a reflector strip between the taillights. Another minor restyle followed suit in 1995, with a new grille and taillights. To accommodate the design of the 1995's new taillights, the rear license plate was moved from the bumper to the trunk's lid.
Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor Second generation 1998 to 2011
|Body and chassis|
|Related||Mercury Grand Marquis Mercury Marauder Lincoln Town Car|
|Engine||4.6 L Modular V8|
|Transmission||4-speed 4R75W automatic|
|Wheelbase||114.7 in (2,913 mm)|
|Length||212.0 in (5,385 mm)|
|Width||2007: 77.3 in (1,963 mm) 1998–2006: 78.2 in (1,986 mm)|
|Height||1998–2001, 2006–2011: 56.8 in (1,443 mm) 2002–05: 58.3 in (1,481 mm)|
For the 1998 model year, the Ford Motor Company restyled the Crown Victoria, eliminating the "aero" look that the first generation Crown Victoria had from 1992 to 1997; adopting the more conservative styling of the Mercury Grand Marquis. Both cars included restyled front and rear end components. The 1998 police package P71 had a chrome grille, chrome door handle trim, chrome bumper strips, and a chrome-trimmed flat black rear fascia with the "Crown Victoria" badge. At this time, the car was still known as the "Crown Victoria P71".
1999 introduced the "Crown Victoria Police Interceptor" name, with a badge on the trunk lid replacing the 1998 "Crown Victoria" badge. A chrome-trimmed gloss black rear fascia, unpainted door handle trim, black bumper strips, and a gloss black slatted grille were also introduced at this time. Finally, the new "Street Appearance Package", intended to make the Police Interceptor look like a Standard (P73) model, including chrome trimming and badging, was introduced.
Comparison with the Crown Victoria
There are few notable differences between the Police Interceptor and standard Crown Victoria or Grand Marquis. Both cars use the same Flex Fuel 4.6 L 2V SOHC V8, Ford Modular engine, and Ford 4-speed automatic transmission.
Engine and drive train
The Police Interceptor is equipped with an external oil-to-engine-coolant oil cooler to reduce engine oil temperatures, allowing the vehicles to operate at high rpm/high loads for an extended period of time without the risk of engine oil overheating and subsequent engine damage. This engine oil cooler can be prone to seeping oil from the O-ring seals after the high mileage operation encountered by Police Interceptors, particularly where damaged by road salt.
The Police Interceptor engine calibration includes a slightly higher idle speed (by approximately 40 rpm) and minor changes in the emissions settings. The computer is tuned for more aggressive transmission shift points, and the transmission itself is built for firmer and harder shifts. The engine has slightly higher compression over the stock 4.6L used in non-police vehicles, at 9.6:1 vs 9.5:1. The EGR system is controlled differently on 03+ vehicles than on 03+ non-police vehicles.
The 2006–present Police Interceptors are mostly equipped with a 3.27:1 rear axle ratio (Axle code Z5) and are electronically limited to 140 mph (225 km/h) due to critical driveline speed limitations. (The weight of the vehicle with law-enforcement equipment on-board makes it highly unlikely the vehicle could ever reach speeds approaching this figure. However, a flat-out figure of 125 mph is the best that could be expected with the 4.6 modular V8, unless driving on an open straight for an extended period of time.). An optional 3.55:1 trac loc rear axle ratio with 120 mph speed limiter was available (Axle code X5 or C6). Pre-2006 Police Interceptors equipped with the 3.27:1 rear axle ratio were generally limited to approximately 131 mph (211 km/h). This is compares to the standard non-P71 2.73 rear axle ratio with a speed limitation of 110 mph (177 km/h) for all "civilian" Crown Victorias.
Ford used an aluminum metal matrix composite driveshaft for the 1993–2005 Police Interceptors as a measure to allow safe operation at over 150 mph (241 km/h), but it was more expensive than the regular aluminum driveshafts. Ford reintroduced a 3.55:1 rear axle ratio for the 2006 model year Police Interceptors with a 120 mph (193 km/h) speed limitation to reduce the risk of driveshaft failure.
Police Interceptors also have a reinforced frame and body mounts and an optional limited slip rear differential.
Body and chassis
Another difference is Ford's "severe duty" shock absorbers that offer a stiffer ride than the standard Crown Victoria. They also have black steel wheels with stainless steel or chromed plastic hubcaps.
All Police Interceptors also come with T-409 stainless steel dual exhaust systems without resonators. Standard Crown Victorias come with a stainless steel single exhaust system, while the Handling and Performance Package and LX Sport-equipped Crown Victorias have the same exhaust system as the Police Interceptor, with the resonators. The resonators further reduce noise, vibration, and harshness without adding any restriction to the exhaust system. Police Interceptors have higher-rate coil springs, approximately 0.8 inches (20.3 mm) of additional ground clearance, and thinner rear antiroll bars (shared with the LX Sport) than the Handling and Performance Package Crown Victorias; the base Crown Victoria does not have a rear antiroll bar.
On 2004 and newer models, P71s have a 200 A alternator and a 78 A h battery.
Ford also offers trunk packages for equipment storage (see below), and as of 2005, has added an optional fire suppression system to the Police Interceptor.
The bulk of police car modifications, such as installation of emergency lights, sirens, passenger seat dividers, and plastic rear bench seats, are offered as aftermarket modifications by third parties.
Most Police Interceptors have a break in the front "bench seat" despite having the shifter on the steering column. This gap between seats is generally filled by a console holding radios, controls for emergency equipment, large firearms, and often a laptop computer or mobile data terminal (MDT). The Police Interceptor also has a calibrated 140 mph (225 km/h) speedometer.
One way to distinguish most P71s is the small "Police Interceptor" badge that replaces the standard "Crown Victoria" markings on the trunk lid, although the Street Appearance Package (SAP) Police Interceptors forgo this badge, using the standard Crown Victoria marking. Police Interceptor badges are now available for purchase online, so this identifying technique is not as reliable as it once was. Street Appearance Package (SAP) cars also use chrome trim rather than the black trim of normal Police Interceptors. P71s can also be identified by the dual exhaust and an analog 140 mph speedometer. The Police Interceptor has the interior trunk release in the center of the dashboard with a prominent warning decal right below it, while the civilian version has it in the driver's door. All 1998 and newer Crown Victorias made for civilian (non-fleet) use have a five digit horizontal keypad (known as SecuriCode) above the driver side door handle which can be used to lock/unlock the car and open its trunk. All P70, 71, and 72 Crown Victorias are assembled without this keyless entry system so unless the driver door was damaged and had an improper replacement door installed any Crown Victoria you see with a keypad is a civilian one, while any one without a keypad is a P70, 71, or 72 fleet Crown Victoria. The only completely infallible way to identify a Police Interceptor is to look for the code "P71" in the VIN, or "P7B", as it was renamed in 2010.