The Crown Victoria Police Interceptor was Ford's factory-made police cruiser. The overwhelming car of choice among U.S. and Canadian law enforcement departments throughout the 1990s and 2000s, it has also appeared in countless movies and TV shows. When someone says the words "police car," a Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is usually the first thing that springs to mind. The iconic cruiser ended its lengthy, nearly-two-decade-long production run following the 2011 model year. Although the Police Interceptor was not sold directly to the public when new, decommissioned used examples can be purchased by anyone.
Fleet Buyers' Faves
As its name implied, the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor was a modified version of Ford's venerable, long-running Crown Victoria sedan. Along with the Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car, it was built on the company's rear-wheel-drive, body-on-frame "Panther" platform. Although they weren't necessarily the most modern or refined offerings, Panther-platform cars were favored by taxi companies, law enforcement organizations and various other fleet buyers due to their relative simplicity, low cost of ownership and ease of repair, and capacious interior space. Body-on-frame construction -- which is typically associated with trucks rather than cars -- makes fixes relatively fast and inexpensive following a minor to moderate collision.
No Cover & Undercover Versions
The Police Interceptor was offered in two versions: standard and Street Appearance. The standard model featured a black grille, black exterior trim, "Police Interceptor" badges and 17-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers. The Street Appearance car -- which looked like a standard Crown Victoria -- was intended for undercover operations and other applications in which law enforcement officers preferred to keep a low profile. It featured a chrome grille, chrome exterior trim, standard "Crown Victoria" badges and chrome wheel covers. Both the standard car and the Street Appearance version were sold with either a 3.27 or 3.55 rear axle.
Although the Police Interceptor didn't differ dramatically from the Standard Crown Victoria, it featured several key enhancements. The engine got an external oil cooler to keep temperatures down during long periods of idling. A 200-watt, high-capacity generator provided power to supplemental lighting and other gear. The Police Interceptor's front bucket seats were upholstered in cloth and fitted with anti-stab plates to protect front-seat occupants. The rear bench was upholstered in vinyl for easy cleanup and repair.
The Police Interceptor was motivated by a single-overhead-cam, 4.6-liter V-8. The engine produced 250 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 297 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm. For comparison, the standard 2011 Crown Victoria put out 239 horsepower and 281 foot-pounds of torque. The Police Interceptor's boost in power was due chiefly to a specific police car air induction system, which helped the engine breathe more efficiently. Only one transmission was offered: a four-speed automatic. The car came standard with four-wheel disc brakes with ABS.
The 2011 Interceptor with the 3:55 axle was electronically limited to 119 mph. Units with the 3:27 axle were limited to 129 mph.
The Police Interceptor was 212 inches long, 78.3 inches wide and 58.3 inches high, with a 114.7-inch wheelbase. Front-seat occupants got 39.5 inches of headroom, 60.6 inches of shoulder room and 41.6 inches of legroom. The backseat provided 37.8 inches of headroom, 60.0 inches of shoulder room and 38.0 inches of legroom. The big sedan's generously sized trunk could hold 20.6 cubic feet of cargo.
The 2011 model received an EPA fuel economy rating of 16 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. As of 2014, Kelley Blue Book states that a good used example of the standard Crown Victoria is worth approximately $11,578 to $12,391. Although KBB does not have data specifically for the Police Interceptor version, expect a similar price range.
- Photo Credit Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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