Ford Crown Victoria
Ford Crown Victoria
1998-2002 Ford Crown Victoria LX
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company Production 1955–1956
Model years 1992-2012 Assembly St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada Predecessor Ford LTD Crown Victoria Successor Ford Taurus Class Full-size Ford Body style Four-door sedan Layout FR layout, body-on-frame Platform Ford Panther platform Related Mercury Grand Marquis
Lincoln Town Car
The Ford Crown Victoria (commonly nicknamed the Crown Vic) is a rear-wheel drive full-size car that was sold from the 1992 to the 2012 model years. Sold in two generations, it is the last of the rear-wheel drive Full-size Ford model line. Discontinued in the 2012 model year, its final incarnation had been in production since 1991 at Ford's St. Thomas Assembly plant. The Crown Victoria name (dropping its previous LTD prefix) was a reference to a two-door model sold in the North American market during the mid-1950s.
While the Crown Victoria shared the Ford Panther platform and major powertrain and suspension components with the Lincoln Town Car, it shared almost no exterior sheet metal or interior parts; conversely, it was nearly an identical twin of the Mercury Grand Marquis. The Crown Victoria (along with its Mercury and Lincoln counterparts) was the only full-frame rear-wheel-drive passenger sedan being built in North America. It was also among the last vehicles still in production with features such as the column-mounted gear shift and a two-bench, six-passenger seating layout; a format which was dominant for US-manufactured vehicles from the 1950s into the 1980s. Today, this format has largely been abandoned in favor of the two front-bucket layout; consequently. After the 1996 discontinuation of the Chevrolet Caprice, the Crown Victoria held a near-monopoly as a police pursuit vehicle in North America. While newer front-wheel drive platforms may have been popular among consumers, they did not challenge the Crown Victoria's dominance as a taxicab, fleet vehicle and police car where durability, cost and performance are valued over fuel efficiency. The Crown Victoria remained popular for these applications due to its rear-wheel drive layout and V8 powertrain, both beneficial to police driving techniques. As one of the few remaining passenger cars with body-on-frame construction, it was rugged and enabled repairs after minor accidents without the need to straighten the chassis – an important benefit for a car frequently used by police forces for PIT maneuvers.
As Ford began to phase the Crown Victoria out of the passenger car lineup, they originally promoted the Ford Five Hundred as its replacement, but as the Crown Victoria remained in production, it would outlive that model, which was replaced by the current generation of the Ford Taurus.
- 1 1955–1956
- 2 LTD Crown Victoria
- 3 First generation (1992–1997)
- 4 Second generation (1998–2011)
- 5 Discontinuation
- 6 Export
- 7 Variants
- 8 Gallery
- 9 Safety concerns
- 10 Sales
- 11 Notes
- 12 External links
- See also 1955 Ford
The first "Crown Victoria" appeared in 1955; it was a two-door six-seater 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. In 1956, Ford added its Lifeguard safety package.
One version called Ford Crown Victoria Skyliner had the front part of the roof, in front of the steel band, in acrylic glass. This made the car difficult to sell, especially in the southern states in USA. Thus few Skyliners were made. Most of them ended up in Sweden, possibly because the climate was more suitable for an acrylic glass roof.
LTD Crown Victoria
Downsized two years after its main rival, the Chevrolet Impala, the new 1979 LTD was fifteen inches shorter than the old one, and ten inches shorter than the LTD II. The platform was named the Panther. The interior remained just as large as the previous LTD though, and the whole design became more efficient; the reduced width, size, and bulk all led to improved road manners and maneuverability, which had been major drawbacks in the previous LTD. Ride quality improved as well with the new car, as did fuel economy. Originally, the LTD was offered with the 4.9 L (302 cu in) and 5.8 L (351 cu in) V8s. The deluxe version of the LTD was the LTD Landau, as in previous years. In 1980 the LTD Landau was renamed LTD Crown Victoria. It replaced the previous year's Landau model, and used a stainless steel band over the roof at the B-pillar (the "crown") to evoke the 1950s model. Crown Victoria had been a decor package for the Landau models since 1975. For 1981 and 1982, Ford offered a 4.2 L (255 cu in) V8. The 4.2 L (255 cu in) and 4.9 L (302 cu in) V8 were supplied with the Variable Venturi Carburetor which was able to deliver highway efficiency in excess of 27 mpg-US (11 km/L), but the complexity of the system and wear of its moving parts required re-building at regular intervals; typically about 70,000 mi (110,000 km). Most 1979-1980 LTDs were sold with the three-speed automatic transmission, with the AOD four-speed optional.
In 1983, the LTD range was split in two as part of a shift in its product lineup. The standard LTD was "downsized" into a mid-size car as it replaced the Granada; the 1983 LTD was facelifted version of its predecessor. For 1983, full-size Ford sedans took on the LTD Crown Victoria nameplate. Civilian models were powered by a fuel-injected 4.9 L (302 cu in) in V8, while police vehicles used a 5.8 L (353.9 cu in) V8 with Ford's Variable venturi carburetor. Station wagons were available as both LTD Crown Victoria and Country Squire models.
As the 1980s progressed, various other changes were made to the LTD Crown Victoria. 1983 saw the introduction of central fuel injection (CFI) on the 4.9 L (302 cu in) models (identifiable by a fender badge reading "Electronic Fuel Injection"), which was replaced with sequential electronic fuel injection (SEFI) in 1986 (accompanied by the deletion of said fender badge). Many mechanical changes were made during this time as well, but most important, it should be noted that all 4.9 L (302 cu in) engines from 1985-on were equipped with a hydraulic roller valvetrain that allowed the use of improved camshaft profiles across the production line. 1987 marked the final year of production of two-door sedans. The Crown Victoria, along with its cousin, the Mercury Grand Marquis, received exterior facelifts for the 1988 model year to improve aerodynamics, followed by an all-new dash, door panels, standard power windows, and standard driver's side airbag and revised steering column in 1990. This was the last American car to offer functional vent windows as an option.
First generation (1992–1997)
First generation Production 1992–1997 Engine 4.6 L SOHC Modular V8 Transmission 4-speed AOD automatic Wheelbase 114.4 in (2,906 mm) Length 1992–94: 212.4 in (5,395 mm)
1995–97: 212.0 in (5,385 mm)
Width 77.8 in (1,976 mm) Height 1992–94: 56.7 in (1,440 mm)
1995–97: 56.8 in (1,443 mm)
Related Mercury Grand Marquis
Lincoln Town Car
Released in March 1991 as an early 1992 model, the Crown Victoria sedan (which dropped the LTD prefix) was completely redesigned with a rounder, eight-window roofline (which shared many design cues with its contemporary, the newly redesigned 1992 Taurus). The redesign reduced the coefficient of drag from 0.42 to 0.34; the suspension setup was also heavily revised. Fleet sales were put on hold for 14 months to focus on satisfying consumer demand. Due to shifts in consumer demand, the Country Squire station wagon was discontinued, largely replaced by the Aerostar and the Explorer as minivans and SUVs replaced full-size wagons as family vehicles.
A significant introduction was the replacement of the 5.0 L and 5.8 L Windsor V8 engines with the overhead-cam 4.6 L Modular engine; aside from the similar Grand Marquis and Town Car, no other American sedan in the Crown Victoria's price range offered such an engine. The lighter Modular engine, along with an aluminum hood, contributed to the reduced weight of the 1992 model. Anti-lock braking system (ABS) and city-speed traction control became available as an option, and saw a 60% uptake in the first year. In addition to the standard driver airbag, a passenger airbag became available late in the 1992 model year. The passenger airbag became standard for the 1994 model year.
Also new for 1992, a performance-oriented "Touring Sedan" trim was added. The model featured dual exhausts for an increased engine output of 210 hp (157 kW; 213 PS), wider tires, rear air suspension, and various suspension components shared with the police package model for improved handling. The Touring Sedan also came with a standard two-tone exterior paint scheme, unique leather interior, special alloy wheels, and every luxury feature available for that year. The "Handling and Performance" package were also available separately for a reduced price without the luxury features of the "Touring Sedan", as was a tow package. The Touring Sedan was dropped after 1992, though the "Handling and Performance" package continued.
By continuing Canadian production,  Ford was able to balance the higher fuel consumption of the Crown Victoria with the low figures for cheap Korean subcompacts in the 'import' list for the onerous CAFE requirements imposed on car makers by the Federal government.
Critics disapproved of the Taurus-like front end; consequently, it was given a front grille for the 1993 model year. Also added that year was a reflector strip between the taillights.
Another minor restyle followed suit in 1995, with a new grille, taillights, and dash. To accommodate the design of the 1995's new taillights, the rear license plate was moved from the bumper to the trunklid, fitted between the taillights. The restyle was better received than General Motors' more radical restyle of the Chevrolet Caprice which may have contributed to its exit and Ford's ultimate dominance of this segment.
Two trim levels were available for the 1996 model year: Crown Victoria (base) and LX. In addition to the available anti-lock brake system (ABS), a traction control system was optional as well. A single-key entry system became standard, along with a hidden audio antenna, rear window defroster and tinted glass. A Handling and Performance Package with touring tires was optional and radial-spoke wheel covers were available on the base model. Automatic climate control and a JBL audio system became available on the LX.
For 1997, only slight adjustments were made in anticipation of a 1998 redesign. They included increased responsiveness and improved steering control.
Second generation (1998–2011)
Second generation Production 1998–2011 Engine 4.6 L Modular V8 Transmission 4-speed automatic Wheelbase 114.7 in (2,913 mm)
120.7 in (3,066 mm) (long-wheelbase)
Length 212.0 in (5,385 mm)
220.0 in (5,588 mm) (long-wheelbase)
Width 2007-2011: 77.3 in (1,963 mm)
1998–2006: 78.2 in (1,986 mm)
Height 1998–2002, 2007–2011: 56.8 in (1,443 mm)
2003–04: 58.3 in (1,481 mm)
Related Mercury Grand Marquis
Lincoln Town Car
In 1998, the Crown Victoria's exterior styling, rear suspension, and ignition system were updated, while the interior remained the same. The 1998 to 2002 Crown Victorias had a revised 4-link rear suspension with a Watt's linkage. The general road handling manners were improved, but towing capacity was reduced. A coil-on-plug ignition design was used rather than the traditional spark plug wires. This design, having already been used on the 1996 to 1999 Ford Taurus SHO's 3.4 L V8 engine, was later implemented on other vehicles that used the Modular V8, including the 1999-onwards Mustang GT, and many F-Series trucks. The new design also featured a 114.7 in (2,913 mm) wheelbase and the body moved further away from the Taurus-like styling of the 1992 model, borrowing the rear doors and roofline from its Mercury Grand Marquis counterpart. 1998 marked the first year for standard 16" wheels across the model line to accommodate the larger brakes used on the refreshed car. 1998 was also the first year that Ford made center caps available on Police cars that attached onto the lug nuts (sourced from the Explorer SUV). Earlier model CVPIs were equipped with Full Wheel covers or dog dish covers that held onto the wheel by 4 nubs, that were specific to P71 and P72 cars only (HD Steel Wheels).
The Crown Victoria was replaced as Ford's flagship sedan with the introduction of the 2005 Ford Five Hundred. However, the 5,424 Crown Victorias sold in January 2007 far exceeded the 3,526 of the newer Five Hundred (rebranded as the Taurus in 2008) which was a more technically advanced full-size car with similar passenger space and better fuel economy.
Retail sales dwindled to just 3,000 in 2006, compared to 38,280 of its stablemate Mercury Grand Marquis in the first nine months of 2007. Following its withdrawal from Canadian retail dealers, the Crown Victoria has been limited in the US market since the 2008 model year to fleet sales, which constituted 95% of its total sales in recent years. The Mercury Grand Marquis, as well as the platform-sharing Lincoln Town Car, will continue to be available to retail consumers. A longer wheelbase version is available for taxi use.
Ford had reportedly announced that it would freshen both the Crown Victoria and the Mercury Grand Marquis for the 2009 model year. Ford had told the Canadian Auto Workers that it would invest $200 million in the vehicles, which are assembled at the St. Thomas Assembly Plant in St. Thomas, Ontario. However, Ford released the 2009 Crown Victoria with few if any changes from the 2008 model, with no announced plans for changes in the future.
Not much changed for the 1999 model year, with the Crown Victoria receiving three more exterior colors and the previously optional ABS brakes became standard.
2000 brought an emergency trunk release system, child seat anchor brackets in the back seat, the "Belt Minder" chime to the Crown Victoria. This was followed in 2001 by adjustable pedals and increased engine output.
For the 2002 model year, heated exterior side mirrors became available, along with standard floor mats, improved cloth upholstery, and a new trunk storage system option on the LX.
2003: Major Mechanical Revisions
For the 2003 model year, the chassis was again redesigned with hydroformed steel. The front and rear suspension were also completely overhauled. New inverted monotube shocks were now used (replacing the old twin-tube shocks that had been used 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 redesigned for durability in 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 had improved significantly. The engine output increased due to the addition of a knock sensor for more aggressive timing. 2003 models also received optional seat-mounted combination head and torso side airbags.
For 2004, Ford altered the transmission, revised the torque converter for better acceleration, and updated the layout of the optional overhead console. Laminated door glass also became available to deter break-ins and thefts, reduce road and wind noise, improve protection from flying glass in a collision and filter out ultraviolet rays, reducing heat buildup and fading of the interior.
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, optional power moonroof and 6-CD changer. 2005 also saw the addition of electronic throttle control.
The rear whip antenna was removed from the 2006 models in favor of the integrated rear defroster antenna. 2006 models also received a redesigned instrument cluster featuring a more modern speedometer (though again 120 mph (190 km/h) for the civilian models) and a tachometer. Other additions included a standard trip computer on the LX and a perimeter alarm as an option.
For the 2007 model year, the LX Sport trim was dropped leaving the Standard and LX. Most of the LX Sport's components were then made available with the new optional Premium Sport-Handling and Performance Package. Standard AM/FM audio system with CD player and the remote keyless entry system "SmartLock" became available on all models as did daytime running lights. Beginning with 2007 models (built after July 2006), design changes were made to the optional side airbags and door trim to improve occupant protection in side impact crashes.
2008-2011: Fleet Sales
Starting with the 2008 model year, the Crown Victoria became available solely through Ford Fleet. As of June 21, 2007, the Crown Victoria was removed from Ford's website, most likely to promote the 2008 Ford Taurus. This has been the case in Canada since the 2000 model year (see below). Also, with the descent into fleet-only sales across North America, the LX Premium Sport and Handling Package and the Handling and Performance Package (the only Crown Victorias produced for the North American market with dual exhaust, save for the Police Interceptor) have been officially discontinued by Ford.
For 2009, Ford narrowed the available Crown Victorias in North America by one more model. The Standard (P73) model designation has gone by the way side, in favor of the LX. To make the LX more appealing to future buyers (those who buy the cars after their service in rental fleets) it now uses the 5-spoke alloy wheels once used specifically for the LX Premium Sport and Handling package. These wheels are used in favor of the 9-spoke design the LX has used since 2003, purportedly due to the Lincoln Town Car using 17" wheels standard, as well as the Police Interceptor and the Taxi/Commercial (P72) model. The Grand Marquis has undergone a similar change to 17" Lincoln Town Car wheels. Also, the LX Sport wheels were used on all Crown Victorias (save for the LX) sent to the Middle East. For the Police Interceptor, there are two pieces of standard equipment added to its list. The power pedals are now standard on all models, presumably to cut manufacturing costs (Crown Victoria LX, Grand Marquis LS and Lincoln Town Car all had them as standard equipment previously) and side impact airbags are also standard. There are also new, federally mandated recessed window switches.
Even with the 2010 Crown Victoria, the overall structural design remains relatively unchanged from the 1979 design. It still uses front independent suspension with a rear live axle on a body on frame design, using a traditional rear-wheel drive drive train.
As early as 1999, the availability of the Crown Victoria became reduced. As Ford discontinued the Mercury brand in Canada, the Crown Victoria was relegated to fleet-only sales there as Ford dealerships adopted the Mercury Grand Marquis wearing Ford badging. After the 2007 model year, this version of the Grand Marquis was replaced by the new full-size Ford Taurus. From 2000 to 2011, the sole market outside of the United States for the Crown Victoria was the Middle East, largely Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
In the early 2000s, Ford developed the Volvo-derived Five Hundred to replace the Crown Victoria in the retail marketplace. As Ford dominated the market for police cars and taxi vehicles at the time, Ford chose to continue the Crown Victoria for the purposes of securing fleet sales; retail customers still interested in full-size rear-wheel drive cars would be marketed towards Mercury and the Grand Marquis. Sales of the Crown Victoria to retail customers plummeted as a result; only 3,000 were sold in 2006 (outselling only the Ford GT, and only by 1000 cars). When the Five Hundred was updated and rechristened as the 2008 Ford Taurus, the decision was made to end retail sales of the Crown Victoria in the United States entirely. A year later, as part of The Way Forward, Ford announced the closure of the St. Thomas, Canada facility where the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis were assembled; production of the Lincoln Town Car had been relocated there as part of another factory closure. Production of all three cars would cease by the end of 2011; only the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor would have a direct replacement (a modified version of the Ford Taurus). With the end of production of the full-size rear wheel drive body-on-frame platform for the Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car, Ford is promoting the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS flagships for consumers. Ford is also promoting the Transit Connect Taxicab to replace the Crown Victoria for urban taxi cab usage. Some taxi operators have expressed concerns about replacing the roomy Crown Victoria with smaller, more compact vehicles, due to a "bumpier, more cramped ride" and "knee-bumping back seats and flimsier frames". For police pursuit use, Ford is promoting the Ford Taurus Police Interceptor and the Ford Explorer interceptor to replace the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.
All Crown Victorias built after August 31, 2011 are 2012 model year cars. For the 2012 model year the US government required that electronic stability control be fitted on all new cars. Ford did not add this feature to the Crown Victoria, so the 2012 model was not sold in the US and Canada.
On September 15, 2011, the final Crown Victoria rolled off the assembly line. It was destined for export to Saudi Arabia. Upon arrival in Saudi Arabia it was decided that the vehicle would not be sold and instead preserved. 
Ford's discontinuation of the Panther platform cars led to the closure of the St. Thomas plant in Canada and the loss of over a thousand jobs, as well as job losses at suppliers in the USA.
Change of Canadian availability
In Canada, 1999 was the last year the Crown Victoria was individually available to civilians from Ford dealerships. Since 2000, the Crown Victoria has only been available in Canada as a Police Interceptor for law enforcement, or as a taxi or Special Service Vehicle for commercial fleets. The civilian Crown Victoria is only available when ordered for a fleet directly from Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited and is not available through Ford dealerships. Civilians can, however, purchase used 2000 and up civilian Crown Victorias that are available at dealerships every so often, or used Police Interceptors or Special Service Vehicles from various auctions. The Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car, which also use the Ford Panther platform, however, were still available at Ford & Lincoln dealerships in Canada through the 2007 model year. Starting with the 2008 models, Ford stopped selling the Grand Marquis in the Canadian market, but continued to sell the Town Car.
Middle East market
Large American sedans have always been part of the landscape in the Middle East. Since the Chevrolet Caprice was discontinued in 1996, the Crown Victoria and its twin, the Mercury Grand Marquis have been the car of choice for large American car buyers in the region. Even after General Motors realized their loss of market share and introduced the Australian Holden Statesman/Caprice in left hand drive form as a Chevrolet Caprice, sales of the Ford Panther platform remain strong, especially in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The Australian-sourced Caprice, however, has certainly brought some serious, tough competition for what used to be a niche market.
Vehicles destined for the Middle East are referred to as "GCC Spec" vehicles, and the Crown Victoria is available in five different trim levels in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries; Standard (P72 VIN designation), Sport (P73), Standard Long-Wheelbase (P70), LX (P74) and LX Sport (P74). While options and standard features vary from country to country in the region, the following is listed as standard equipment on 2011 models:
- A true dual exhaust system (except Standard Long-Wheelbase)
- 17" 5-spoke aluminum sport wheels with P235/55HR17 all-season tires (16" 9-spoke aluminum wheels and P225/60VR16 all-season tires on LX models)
- Remote keyless entry system with driver's door mounted keypad (rare option on Standard, not available on Standard Long-Wheelbase)
- 40/20/40 split bench with rear air vents and 8-way power driver's seat, 4-way manual front passenger seat (available in both luxury cloth and leather trim; rear air vents not available on LX Sport models)
- Speed control
- Dual-Media AM/FM stereo/cassette with a single-CD player (except Standard and Standard Long-Wheelbase, which come with AM/FM stereo/cassette player)
A driver's side spotlight assembly is optional on Standard and Standard Long-Wheelbase models, while a monochromatic paint job is optional on Sport, LX and LX Sport models. Choice of colors on monochromatic paint jobs include Dark Toreador Red, Silver Birch, Tungsten and Black. A Mercury Marauder rear spoiler is standard equipment on Sport and LX Sport models, being an option on the LX and Standard trim. LX and LX Sport models also come with power 8-way driver and front passenger seats.
Worthy of note, the American Handling and Performance Package (HPP) has been changed to "Export Handling Package" for the Middle East. The only differences between the two is that GCC Spec models have a 2.73 rear axle ratio (as opposed to 3.27) and as a true dual exhaust system is standard equipment, it does not come as part of the package. Vehicles equipped with this package also come with a monochromatic paint job. The Export Handling Packages (EHP) comes with a tuned rear air suspension, revised coil springs, handling shock absorbers and an upsized rear stabilizer bar. EHP is standard on Sport and LX Sport models and is only an option on the LX trim. It is not available on Standard and Standard Long-Wheelbase models.
2007 and newer models now come with an available DVD entertainment system (marketed as "Export DVD Entertainment System"). This has been made optional on Sport, LX and LX Sport models.
The Crown Victoria comes with a 5 year/200,000 kilometer (125,000 mile) warranty – whichever comes first. As far as the market in Kuwait is concerned, where Grand Marquis sales exceed that of the Crown Victoria, only the Standard and Standard Long-Wheelbase models are available. Other models have not been imported as of the year 2000, and 1999 was the last year for the LX trim level. This was part of the authorized dealer/importer's decision to focus on the Grand Marquis due to the market size.
2008 "Special Edition"
With no major redesign since 1998, in order to remain competitive Ford came up with a trim package for the Crown Victoria in the Middle East, known as the Special Edition, for 2008. Only available on the P72 Standard model, this cosmetic package adds the following:
- A new 3-bar grille.
- Mercury Marauder spoiler, also found on models equipped with the Export Handling Package.
- Chrome trim under the license plate on the front bumper.
- Chrome trim underneath the Ford logo on the trunk.
- Special Edition logos on the front fenders, trunk and dashboard.
- A Premium head unit with single CD and cassette
Everything else on this vehicle is identical to the Standard model. While this vehicle is not listed in any sales literature, in Saudi Arabia it is available with a choice of different colors. In Kuwait, this model is only available in black (due to market size), and costs KWD 6,000 (approximately $22,000 USD).
Police Interceptor (1998–2012)
Starting with the 1998 model year, the police version of the Crown Victoria, previously named Crown Victoria P71, was changed to Police Interceptor and new rear badging was assigned instead of the civilian Crown Victoria badge. Though, to date, the Crown Victoria badge is still affixed to Police Interceptors equipped with the Street Appearance package for vehicles that require civilian styling (undercover cars, office/city motor pool, fire departments, etc.). Police Interceptor models come with a black front grille and a black rear fascia on the trunk lid, with black trim under the tail lights on 2000+ models. 1998 through 2000 models have a blacked out version of the standard chrome bar grille, while 2001+ models have a black honeycomb type grille. 1999 models continued with the chrome trim under the tail lights. They also have several "heavier-duty" mechanical upgrades and newer models have additional safety features to deal with fuel tank safety concerns. Ford has begun development of the next-generation Police Interceptor, based on the 2010 Ford Taurus. A seamless transition is planned as the Crown Victoria will end production by late 2011. In response, police departments like that of Austin, Texas, are buying reserve supplies of the last Crown Victorias to allow them to maintain a fleet of reliable police cars into the future.
Long-wheelbase commercial version (2002–2012)
In 2002, Ford introduced a long-wheelbase version of the Crown Victoria, available only to commercial fleets (mostly used by taxi companies) in North American markets. This version gives six extra inches of wheelbase length, made possible by a new frame and extended body.
This version is not available to the general public, nor is there a stretched version of the Police Interceptor. However, there was a special service version available for the police market from 2002–2006, with an available street appearance trim option from 2002–2004, due to its targeted use mostly in the taxi and livery market.
While the car has been highly rated for safety, there was some controversy and lawsuits in the 1990s and 2000s over Ford Crown Victoria (and its Mercury and Lincoln counterparts) gas tank leaks after certain types of high speed impacts, specifically when being hit in the rear end at high speeds. These impacts did cause fuel tank failures in the Crown Victoria. The leaking fuel in combination with friction between the vehicle and the road was found to be the cause of fires.
The reports that the cars were more prone to fires during a rear collision was a simple combination of three things. First, most law enforcement agencies rely heavily on the Crown Victoria as their primary vehicle, meaning that any police-related auto accident is very likely to involve a Crown Victoria. Second, the accidents occurred as the result of the officers intentionally parking their vehicles close to active traffic to shield a stopped motorist - something most civilians would never do. Third, the impacting vehicle was often traveling at, or above, the posted legal limit (70 to 75 mph (110 to 121 km/h) in most jurisdictions).
The condition was exacerbated by police equipment installers drilling over the package tray in the luggage compartment. Due to the gas tank's orientation, drilling through the package tray may result in drilling into the gas tank. Installers also used screws set directly into the bulkhead and facing the fuel tank. In the event of a high-energy collision, these screws could be forced into the tank, both rupturing the tank and possibly acting as a spark source. Long bolts for mounting heavier equipment were also directly suspect. The manufacturer provided an aftermarket shield to help prevent these items from puncturing the tank during impact. Further, many investigations, both performed by federal/state agencies, and the police department themselves, have found that removable items in the trunk were improperly stowed. These items became tank-piercing projectiles during the rear-collision scenarios. Ford's second solution came in the form of a recall kit including patterns to mark unsafe areas (to drill) in the luggage compartment. Also included were rubberized kevlar and hard ballistic nylon shields for the differential cover lower shock bolts. They also included a kevlar-based trunk liner. Ford used similar kits on early-1980s model passenger vehicles. For 2005 and newer models, Ford offers an optional on-board fire-suppression system for the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor units. The system itself is integrated with the anti-lock braking system as part of the activation, and can be activated manually. However, Ford does cite several system limitations regarding fuel loss and impact speeds.
Despite numerous court cases charging Ford with partial liability for fires caused in accidents, the company has never been found liable in a Crown Victoria accident.
Notably, only the Ford Crown Victoria and new Ford police car have been certified for high speed rear impact collisions, adding credibility to Ford's statement that fiery crashes are a result of extreme and unfortunate situations.
Intake manifold defect
Model years 1996 to 2001 inclusive, using an all-composite intake manifold, are subject to coolant leaks. Late in 2005 Ford settled a class action lawsuit. See Intake Manifold Defect for details.
Calendar Year American sales 1993 101,685 1994 103,040 1995 98,163 1996 108,789 1997 107,872 1998 111,531 1999 114,669 2000 92,047 2001 95,261 2002 79,716 2003 78,541 2004 70,816 2005 63,939 2006 62,976 2007 60,901 2008 48,557 2009 33,255 2010 33,725
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- Ford Crown Victorias in movies, TV shows, and media (indexed)
- Ford Crown Victoria (U.S.A.): Civilian | Police Interceptor | Commercial Version (includes long-wheelbase version)
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