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Ford Crown Victoria

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Ford Crown Victoria
Ford
aka Police Interceptor
Production 1983-2007 (Public)
2008-2011 (Fleet Only)
Class Full-size Sedan
Body Style 4 Door Sedan
Length 211.1 Inches
Width 84.5 Inches
Height 58.3 Inches
Wheelbase 114.6 Inches
Weight 4,118 LBS.
Transmission 4 Speed Automatic
Engine 4.6L Modular V8 SOHC
Power 224HP 275LBS Torque
Similar Chevrolet Impala
Dodge Charger
Mercury Grand Marquis
Lincoln Town Car
Designer

The Ford Crown Victoria is a full-size, rear-wheel-drive executive car produced by the Ford Motor Company in the 1950s, and then again since the 1970s. While the Crown Victoria only has mediocre sales to the general public, the Crown Victoria is very popular among fleets, with its twin, the Mercury Grand Marquis being the exact opposite. The Grand Marquis is almost never used by fleets other than rental car companies, while it is somewhat popular among the general public. While it shares components with the Lincoln Town Car, it shares almost no exterior sheetmetal or interior parts. The 1992-onward model has had a number of upgrades, and is the most common vehicle used by law enforcement in North America, followed by the Chevrolet Impala.

Contents

Description

The Ford Crown Victoria is a fullsize sedan manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. The Crown Victoria, or "Crown Vic" as it is often referred, represents the top-of-the-line sedan in the Ford lineup. Much like its predecessor, the Ford LTD Crown Victoria, the Ford Crown Victoria is also commonly used as a taxi cab, fleet vehicle and police car, a segment in which Crown Victorias make up the vast majority of vehicles used.

The Crown Victoria is manufactured in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, rides on the 1979-vintage Ford Panther platform and utilizes the universal 4.6 L SOHC SEFI V8. As of 2005, prices range from US$25,000 for the base model to $32,000 for the high-end LX Sport trim.

Main Competitors (1955-1991)

Main Competitors (1992-2011)

Photos

1955

1955 Ford Crown Victoria (mildly customized)
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1955 Ford Crown Victoria (mildly customized)

The first "Crown Victoria" appeared in 1955; it was a 2-door 6-seater hardtop coupe, part of the Ford Fairlane range, that differed from the regular Victoria model (named after a type of carriage) by having a stainless steel band that 'crowned' the roofline, passing right over the car, as an extension of the B-pillar line. The model was produced in 1955 and 1956.

One version called Ford Crown Victoria Skyliner had the front part of the roof, in front of the steel band, in plexiglass. This made the car difcult to sell, especially in the southern states in USA. Thus few Skyliners was made. Most of them ended up in Sweden, possibly because the climate was more suitable for a plexiglass roof.

1980

In 1980, Ford brought back the name on a deluxe version of the LTD fullsize car line on the Ford Panther platform as the LTD Crown Victoria. It replaced the previous year's LTD Landau model, and used a stainless steel band over the roof at the B-pillar to evoke the 1950s model.

1983

When the LTD was based on a rebodied Ford Fairmont, all full-size LTDs were now badged as LTD Crown Victorias (the Crown Victoria previously being a premium trim package).

1992-1997

1996 Ford Crown Victoria
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1996 Ford Crown Victoria

In 1992, along with dropping the LTD designation, the sedan body (production of the station wagon having ceased in 1991) was completely redesigned to the round, six-window shape (which shared many details with its contemporary, the newly refreshed 1992 Taurus), and there was a new 4.6 L modular engine. Critics weren't fond of the 1992's Taurus-like front-end, therefore it was given a front grille for the 1993 model year. Also added this year was a reflector strip between the rear tail lights. Another minor front & rear-end redesign followed suit in 1995, with a new different styled grille and new tail lights. To accommodate the design of the 1995's new tail lights, the rear license plate was moved from the bumper to the trunk lid, fitted between the tail lights.

1998-2002

NYPD Crown Victoria/Police Interceptor, post-1998.
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NYPD Crown Victoria/Police Interceptor, post-1998.

In 1998, the Crown Victoria's exterior styling, rear suspension, and ignition system were updated, now very much resembling its Mercury Grand Marquis twin more than ever (especially the side profile). The 1998-2002 "Crown Vics" have a revised 4-link rear suspension with a Watts linkage. The general road handling manners have improved, but towing capacity has been reduced. The Crown Victoria also uses a coil-on-plug ignition design rather than traditional spark plug wires. This design, already being used on the 1996-1999 Ford Taurus SHO 3.4L V8 engine, was later implemented on other users of the Modular V8, including the 1999-up Mustang GT, and many F/E-series trucks. The Crown Victoria also features a 114.7" wheelbase.

Change of Canadian availability

In Canada, 1999 was the last year the Crown Victoria was individually available.

2003-Present

2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX
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2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX

In 2003, the chassis was again redone with hydroformed steel. The front and rear suspension was also completely overhauled. New inverted monotube shocks are now used (replacing the old twin-tube shocks that had been around since the 1960s). In the front, new aluminum control arms, and rack and pinion steering (replacing the recirculating ball units) have been implemented. The rear suspension was redone for durability in taxi and police-duty applications and the rear shocks were moved outboard of the frame rails for better handling and ease of maintenance. As a result, the road-handling manners of the Panther platform cars have improved significantly. The engine output increased due to the addition of a knock sensor for more aggressive timing.

The Crown Victoria retained the same exterior styling, but 2005 models received a rear whip radio antenna rather than an integrated rear defroster antenna. 2005 models also received a new steering wheel. The rear whip antenna has been removed from the 2006 models in favor of the integrated rear defroster antenna.

Even with the latest 2006 Crown Victoria, the overall design remains relatively unchanged from the 1979 design. It still uses a front independent suspension with a rear live axle on a body on frame design, using a traditional rear wheel drive drivetrain. The design has been popular with police departments and cab companies to the same extent as the Chevrolet Caprice in the 1980s and early 1990s, especially in New York City where they make up the majority of the taxi and New York City Police Department fleets, as well among the general populace.

The Crown Victoria has often characterized as an "older person's car", but this is a misconception considering nearly all vehicles in this class tend to have an older client base (because most older drivers were accustomed to driving larger cars). It is considerably more durable than modern front wheel drive cars that rely on constant velocity joints for transmission of power to the steering wheels. It also offers more interior space and slightly better fuel economy than many SUVs of similar weight.

Engines (MY2005 stats):

  • 220hp @ 4750 rpm/265lb.ft. @ 4000 rpm/9.4:1 compression 4.6L V-8 (Fleet only.)
  • 224hp @ 4750 rpm/265lb.ft. @ 4000 rpm/9.4:1 compression 4.6L V-8 (Base civilian package.)
  • 239hp @ 4750 rpm/276lb.ft. @ 4000 rpm/9.4:1 compression 4.6L V-8 (Perf. & Handling Pkg.-equipped only; includes Sport)
  • 250hp @ 4900 rpm/287lb.ft. @ 4100 rpm/9.6:1 compression 4.6L V-8 (Police Interceptor package only.)

Body on frame

The Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, and the Lincoln Town Car are the only mass-produced passenger cars with body-on-frame construction in the United States. This construction style is opposed to the now more commonly used unibody construction style where the body panels are load-bearing members. Mercury introduced a performance version called the Mercury Marauder but sales were slow. The Marauder was not a market success and the model was retired after just two years of production.

Long wheelbase fleet models

A traditional New York City taxi, the long-wheelbase Crown Victoria.
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A traditional New York City taxi, the long-wheelbase Crown Victoria.

Starting in the 2002 model year a long-wheelbase Crown Victoria was made available that featured a six-inch wheelbase stretch made possible by a new frame and extended body. The stretched Crown Vic was not offered to the general public, but instead was intended for service in New York City's taxicab fleets, for instance, and the livery market.


Future

Ford was rumored to be considering replacing the aging Panther platform with the front or all-wheel drive platform based on the D3 architecture. Ford has denied this.

Another rumor going around at Ford is that the Crown Victoria will eventually be replaced by one of two vehicles:

  • Ford Australia would modify the Ford Falcon to left hand drive and US safety standards and export it to the US, which would see a revival in the Falcon name in the US market. Despite consumer demand, Ford has no plans to do this.
  • The Panther platform would be retired altogether, replaced by a completely new vehicle based on the Ford D2C platform used for the Ford Mustang. To go with Ford's naming scheme of naming cars that start with the letter "F", the Crown Vic name would be replaced by "Falcon" or "Fairlane". In addition, to go outside that naming scope, reviving the Galaxie nameplate has also been mentioned.

Despite this, Ford has announced that the Crown Victoria's better selling twin, the Mercury Grand Marquis will stay in production until at least 2009, with the "Grand" dropped off the nameplate, so it will fit Mercury's new naming scheme of making all their cars start with the letter M. It is unclear if the front bench seating (6-passenger) feature will be retained by a redesign of the car or a renamed replacement.

  • For 2008 Ford has decided to drop the Crown Victoria from its public lineup and make it just for Commercial Fleets and Government Offices and Police Forces. Although the better selling Mercury Grand Marquis will continue on in production to the public to offer customers a Full-Size American Made V8 Powered Rear Wheel Drive Luxury Sedan they can be proud of.
  • The whole fleet of Crown Victoria Police Interceptors would be replaced with new Chevrolet Caprices based on Holden Statesmans in the Los Angeles Police Department's multi-million dollar bid for 20,000 cars. The V8 Caprice is more powerful and more refined than the Crown Victoria. [1]

See also

Awards

  • 2003 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study winner (Full-size)

See Also

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This page uses content from Wikipedia; see Ford Crown Victoria, which includes these contributors.

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