California's highway patrol officers have settled on a replacement for the now lost Crown Victoria. It's not a car though, instead they've chosen to go with the Ford Explorer.
For drivers, this makes spotting police easier, but we have to wonder about the efficiency of this decision. Having a fleet of Crown Vics roaming the street wasn't exactly the most efficient option, but the explorer is an SUV. It seems like an odd choice considering there a re a glut of new cars shooting for the gap the Crown Vic left, including Ford's own Taurus.
The answer is payload capacity. The outgoing Crown Victoria was built on a ladder frame, similar to a pickup truck. That frame allowed for the car to carry a lot of equipment safely. CHP officers need to carry medical gear, communications equipment, in addition to four fully loaded officers. Modern sedans like the Taurus simply don't meet the specifications, while the Explorer does.
If you're in the market for a police spec' Crown Victoria, now's the time to look. About 4,000 are going to be gradually replaced over the coming years.
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