Ford Crown Victoria

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Ford Crown Victoria
Ford Crown Victoria LX.jpg
1998–2002 Ford Crown Victoria LX
Overview
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Production 1991–2011[1]
Model years 1992–2012
Assembly Southwold, Ontario, Canada
(St. Thomas Assembly)
Body and chassis
Class Full-size car
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout FR layout, body-on-frame
Platform Ford Panther platform
Chronology
Predecessor Ford LTD Crown Victoria
Successor Ford Taurus (sixth generation)

The Ford Crown Victoria (colloquially called the Crown Vic[2][3]) is a rear-wheel-drive full-size four-door sedan that was marketed and manufactured by Ford from the 1992 to the 2011 model years over two generations. Discontinued in 2011, the latter-day Crown Victoria began production in 1991 at Ford's St. Thomas Assembly plant in Southwold, Ontario, Canada. Dropping its previous LTD prefix, Ford instead revived a nameplate once used on a two-door version of the Fairlane sold in the North American market for the 1955 model year.

The Crown Victoria shared the Ford Panther platform and major powertrain, body, and suspension components with the Lincoln Town Car and Mercury Grand Marquis. Along with its rebadged Mercury and Lincoln variants, the Crown Victoria was the final full-frame rear-wheel-drive passenger sedan produced in North America. The durability associated with its layout popularized the Crown Victoria with taxicab owners and commonly used police patrol/pursuit vehicles in North America.[4]

Original use of the name[edit]

1955 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria
1955 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria

1955–1956[edit]

The first use of the Crown Victoria nameplate by Ford was in the 1955 model year as part of the Ford Fairlane range. Separate from the Fairlane Victoria two-door hardtop, the Fairlane Crown Victoria was given its own B-pillared roofline, with a stainless-steel band "crowning" the roof, an interpretation of the "victoria carriage" bodystyle. The first time Ford used the "victoria" as a naming convention was in 1932 on the Ford Victoria 2-door coupe and the larger Lincoln Victoria coupe. A variant of the Crown Victoria, the Crown Victoria Skyliner, replaced the front half of the roof with acrylic glass.[5] For the 1956 model year, along with the rest of the Ford model line, the Fairlane Crown Victoria received the Lifeguard option package.[6]

For 1957, the Crown Victoria and Crown Victoria Skyliner were replaced as the flagship of the Ford Fairlane line by the retractable-hardtop Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner.

1980–1991[edit]

1990 Ford LTD Crown Victoria LX 4-door sedan
1980s Ford LTD Crown Victoria coupe (discontinued after 1986)

After a 23-year hiatus, Ford revived the Crown Victoria name for the 1980 model year[7] as part of the recently downsized Ford LTD model line; the LTD Crown Victoria served as the replacement for the 1975-1979 LTD Landau.[citation needed] The LTD Crown Victoria was sold as a two-door and four-door sedan,[7] with the LTD Country Squire sharing its interior trim.

In a fashion similar to the Lincoln Town Car, the standard vinyl roof extended to the B-pillar, covering only the rear seats. To distinguish the LTD Crown Victoria from its Mercury Marquis counterpart and Lincoln Town Car, the vinyl roof was fitted with a stainless-steel band to trim the B-pillars and the top of the roof; the Crown Victoria was not fitted with B-pillar opera lamps.

For 1983, as part of an extensive redesign of the midsize and full-size model lines of all three Ford divisions, the LTD Crown Victoria became a stand-alone model (alongside the Mercury Grand Marquis); the standard LTD became a midsize sedan, serving as the replacement for the Granada.

After its discontinuation at the 1991 model year, the LTD Crown Victoria (and LTD Country Squire station wagon) was the last car to have the Ford LTD name in North America; the name remained in use by Ford of Australia until 2007.

First generation (1992–1997)[edit]

First generation
1992 Ford Crown Victoria LX.jpg
1992 Ford Crown Victoria LX
Overview
Production January 1991 – October 1997
Body and chassis
Related Mercury Grand Marquis
Lincoln Town Car
Powertrain
Engine 4.6 L SOHC Modular V8
Transmission 4-speed AOD automatic
4-speed AODE automatic
4-speed 4R70W automatic
Dimensions
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)
Curb weight 3,748–3,849 lb (1,700–1,746 kg)[8][9]

The Ford Crown Victoria began production in 1991 as a 1992 model.[10] In an effort to optimize its availability for buyers, at the launch, fleet sales of the vehicle were postponed for 14 months.[10] To better distinguish the generation for buyers, the long-running LTD prefix was dropped.[citation needed] In line with the redesign of the 1991 Chevrolet Caprice (its chief competitor), the 1992 Crown Victoria featured a major exterior redesign on the previous-generation chassis. Focused on aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, Ford reduced the coefficient of drag of the exterior from 0.42 to 0.34[7] (nearly matching the 0.32 of the Ford Taurus).

Due to a market shift in family-oriented vehicles, the Crown Victoria was offered exclusively as a four-door sedan, with the wood-trim LTD Country Squire station wagon discontinued. While the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable continued in production with optional three-row seating, the role of the Country Squire was effectively superseded by the Ford Aerostar and Ford Econoline/Ford Club Wagon vans, and the Ford Explorer SUVs.

During their launch, the Ford Crown Victoria (and Mercury Grand Marquis) were involved in a unique loophole involving CAFE. Though produced in Southwold, Ontario (which otherwise made them domestic automobiles),[11] to avoid gas-guzzler taxes, Ford modified its supplier network in order for the two vehicles to be classified as imported vehicles, effectively removing the full-size sedans from the Ford domestic CAFE fleet (alongside the Ford Mustang V8) and placing them in its imported fleet (alongside the Ford Festiva).[12]

Chassis[edit]

In lieu of developing an all-new platform architecture from the ground up, the Crown Victoria retained the Panther platform of its LTD Crown Victoria predecessor as its chassis. Although launched in 1979, the Panther chassis underwent extensive upgrades to improve its road manners and handling; major updates were made to the steering and suspension tuning.[13] To improve braking performance, the Crown Victoria gained four-wheel disc brakes (only seen on the Lincoln Mark VII and Ford Taurus SHO); anti-lock brakes and low-speed traction control were available as an option, which became a popular feature.[14] For 1997, several updates were made to improve handling response and steering control[15]

Showcased in the redesign was the Modular V8. First introduced in the 1991 Lincoln Town Car, the 4.6L SOHC V8 was the replacement for the 5.0L (302 CID) Windsor V8 and the first engine of a family of overhead-cam engines that would be introduced in a number of Ford and Lincoln-Mercury cars and trucks. Lighter than its predecessor,[16] the 4.6L V8 produced nearly identical torque output while producing 40 additional horsepower in its standard single-exhaust configuration. As with its predecessor and the Lincoln Town Car, the 4.6L V8 was paired with a 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission. In 1993, the Ford AOD transmission was replaced by the electronically-controlled AOD-E version. For 1995, the AOD-E was replaced by the 4R70W, a heavier-duty version introduced in the Lincoln Mark VIII.

Body[edit]

Ford Crown Victoria LX (pre-facelift)

Ford based much of the Crown Victoria's appearance on the first-generation Ford Taurus, a look pioneered by Jack Telnack, Ford VP of Design. Though the Taurus became wildly popular in its market segment, Telnack's "Aero" look proved to be either a love or hate proposition with potential buyers of the full-size, wedge-shaped Crown Victoria. Along with its distinctive no-grille front fascia, the Crown Victoria would share a similar roofline with the Taurus, similar body and bumper moldings, similar door handles, aircraft-style doors, and similarly shaped headlamp and taillamp clusters.

To reduce aesthetic commonality with the Mercury Grand Marquis, only the front doors, windshield, and alloy wheels were shared between them. For the interior, the two vehicles also were given different seats, door trim and dashboards; the Crown Victoria featured an instrument panel with round dials while the Grand Marquis featured a horizontal speedometer. An electronic instrument panel was introduced as an option.

Though better received than the 1990 redesign of the Chevrolet Caprice, the 1992 Crown Victoria was met with disapproval from some critics and buyers, leading Ford to revise the exterior. In late 1992 for model year 1993, a grille was added to the front fascia (though it retained its "bottom-breather" configuration); for 1994, a red reflector strip was added to the trunk lid to visually connect the taillamps.

In 1994 for MY 1995, a mid-cycle redesign saw more extensive changes to the Crown Victoria; a 6-slit grille replaced the egg crate grille and wider taillamps were added to the rear (the license plate was moved to the trunk lid). For the interior, the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis adopted the same dashboard, using round dials for the instrument panel and larger controls and switches. In addition, the seats were redesigned. In late 1995, the first-generation Ford "brick" airbag steering wheel was replaced by a version with a smaller hub (moving the horn back to the steering wheel hub).

Features[edit]

Facelift Ford Crown Victoria
Facelift Ford Crown Victoria

As with its LTD Crown Victoria predecessor, the Crown Victoria was a six-passenger automobile; the front seat was a 50/50 split bench seat. The Crown Victoria was sold in two trim levels: base-trim and Crown Victoria LX, with the latter forming the majority of non-fleet sales. In addition, the Crown Victoria P71 replaced the fleet-market "S" designation in 1993; the P71 was marketed exclusively for law-enforcement sales.

As with the Mercury Grand Marquis, a driver airbag was standard equipment; a passenger airbag was added as an option during later 1991 production, becoming standard in 1993 for the 1994 model year.[14][17] A popular feature were the anti-lock brakes and low-speed traction control.[14] For 1996, a single-key entry system became standard, along with a hidden audio antenna, rear window defroster and tinted glass. Automatic climate control and a JBL audio system became available on the LX.[18]

Touring Sedan[edit]

For 1992, Ford introduced the Crown Victoria Touring Sedan as a performance-oriented flagship trim. The Touring Sedan featured a number of suspension and handling improvements over the Crown Victoria LX, featuring the heavier-duty suspension components of the police-package version, also including wider tires, rear air suspension, the removal of the speed limiter, and a 210 hp dual-exhaust 4.6L V8. Optional features included speed-sensitive steering and larger-diameter sway bars.

Distinguished by its standard two-tone exterior paint scheme (with painted alloy wheels), the Crown Victoria Touring Sedan featured a model-unique leather interior with every feature available on a Crown Victoria at the time. For a lower price, Ford offered the performance upgrades of the Touring Sedan on the LX as the Handling and Performance Package alongside a separate towing package. The Touring Sedan became a one year-only model, as it was discontinued after 1992. However, in various forms, the Handling and Performance Package remained an option until 2007.

Second generation (1998–2012)[edit]

Second generation
2007 Ford Crown Victoria LX.jpg
Overview
Production 1997–2011 (fleet sales)
1997–2007 (civilian sales)[1]
Body and chassis
Related Mercury Grand Marquis
Mercury Marauder
Lincoln Town Car
Powertrain
Engine 4.6 L Modular V8
Transmission

4-speed 4R70W Automatic

4-speed 4R75W Automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 114.7 in (2,913 mm)
Length 212.0 in (5,385 mm)
Width 77.3 in (1,963 mm)
Height 56.8 in (1,443 mm)
Curb weight 4,057 lb (1,840 kg)

The second generation of the 1998 Ford Crown Victoria commenced sales on December 26, 1997. Although the 1992-1997 Ford Crown Victoria saw better critical and marketplace acceptance than the controversial styling of the 1991 Chevrolet Caprice, its sales struggled to match those of its Mercury Grand Marquis counterpart. In an effort to gain acceptance among buyers (and increase parts commonality), for the 1998 model year, the Crown Victoria adopted much of the exterior design of the Mercury Grand Marquis.

Following its 1998 introduction, the second-generation Crown Victoria underwent an extensive revision for the 2003 model year. Introduced in April 2002, while the exterior saw no change, nearly the entire chassis was redesigned, with major updates to the suspension and steering.

Chassis[edit]

The second-generation Ford Crown Victoria continued the use of the Ford Panther platform, shared with the Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car.[7]

Under the 1998 redesign, several changes were made to the rear suspension to improve general road manners (at the expense of reduced towing capacity). The original three-link coil-spring configuration was replaced with a four-link configuration with a Watt's linkage. Continuing the use of four-wheel disc brakes, for 1998, enlarged brake rotors necessitated a shift to 16-inch wheels for all Crown Victoria models. For 1999, ABS became standard on all Crown Victorias (except Police Interceptors).

For the 2003 model year, the suspension and steering underwent an extensive update, paired with the chassis redesign. For the first time, the Crown Victoria adopted rack and pinion steering (replacing the long-running recirculating ball system), with the adoption of aluminum front control arms.[19] In the rear, twin-tube shocks (in use since the mid-1960s), were replaced by monotube shocks; to improve maintenance and on-road handling, the shocks were moved outside of the frame rails. As part of the suspension upgrades, the Panther-chassis vehicles were fitted with wheels with high positive offset (flat-face). For 2006, the steel wheels of the Crown Victoria shifted to a 17-inch diameter.[20]

The second-generation is powered by a single engine, the 4.6L SOHC 16-valve Modular V8. Carried over from 1992-1997, output for 1998 was raised to 200 hp (dual-exhaust examples produced 215 hp). For 1999, spark plug wires were replaced by coil-on-plug ignition (a feature first used on the DOHC 4.6L V8). For 2001, the 4.6L V8 received new cylinder heads (from the Mustang GT), raising output to 220 hp (235 hp in dual-exhaust configuration).[21] For 2003, the engine output was increased further, to 224 hp and 239 hp (depending on exhaust configuration); the increase resulted from a knock sensor fitted to the engine. For 2004, engine output was increased for the last time, as the Police Interceptor raised output to 250 hp (as its engine received the air intake of the Mercury Marauder). For 2005, the engine underwent a minor revision, as it adopted electronic "drive-by-wire" throttle control.[20]

From 1998 to 2004, the 4R70W 4-speed automatic was paired with the 4.6L V8, replaced by the 4R70E after 2005 (the latter designed to accommodate electronic throttle controls); the 4R75W was exclusive to the 2004 Police Interceptor.

Body[edit]

Following the poor critical and sales acceptance of the 1991-1996 Chevrolet Caprice and Buick Roadmaster, for the second-generation Crown Victoria, Ford sought a more conservative exterior design, choosing design commonality with the Mercury Grand Marquis over the Ford Taurus. In doing so, the Crown Victoria adopted the formal notchback roofline of its Mercury counterpart, sharing all four doors (previously, the front doors were shared). On the front fascia, both the grille and headlamps were enlarged. The rear fascia underwent a redesign, as large taillamp units were mounted at the corners of the body, replacing the previous full-width design. In contrast to its Mercury counterpart, the Crown Victoria was nearly devoid of chrome trim, largely restricted to the grille, window trim, and trunklid.

In contrast to the exterior, relatively few changes were made to the interior, updated for the 1995 model year. Offered with nearly the same features as the Grand Marquis, the Crown Victoria was largely differentiated by its (optional) wood trim and seating materials.

To comply with US federal regulations, for 2000, the Crown Victoria adopted an emergency trunk release system, alongside other safety features, including LATCH anchors and "Belt Minder" (seat belt reminder chime that sounds for an unbelted front seat occupant).[22] For 2001, the dual airbags were redesigned, replaced by dual-stage airbags; power-adjustable pedals became an option. For 2003, seat-mounted side airbags became an option. For the 2007 model year, the optional side airbags underwent revision to better protect passengers in side-impact collisions.[23]

For the 2002 model year, heated exterior side mirrors became available, along with standard floor mats, improved cloth upholstery; for LX-trim vehicles, a trunk storage organizer became an option.[24]

In contrast to the extensive mechanical changes for the 2003 model year (and redesigns of the Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car), the Ford Crown Victoria saw no exterior changes since the 1998 model year (grille changes were limited to Police Interceptors). For the interior, a minor update saw redesigned front and rear seats (distinguished by taller head restraints) and redesigned door panels.

During the 2003 model year (after December 2002 production), Ford began to de-content the Crown Victoria, removing the amber-color turn signal lenses, body-color sideview mirrors, front-seat map pouches, locking fuel cap, automatic-release parking brake, and engine compartment light. For 2004, in one of the first American cars to do so, the Crown Victoria adopted laminated door glass as an option; along with providing additional security, the feature filtered UV light and heat from the interior.[25] In another revision, the overhead console was redesigned.[25][26]

For 2005, the Crown Victoria received a new non-locking steering column, which gave the model its first new steering wheel since 1998.[20] For the first time, the Crown Victoria offered a moonroof as an option; in line with other Ford vehicles, a 6-disc CD changer became an option.[20][27]

For 2006, the dashboard of the Crown Victoria saw a revision, as Ford introduced a new instrument panel (for the first time since 1992). Along with becoming the final Ford Motor Company fitted with a tachometer in North America, the 2006 Crown Victoria became the final Ford vehicle to adopt a digital odometer (as the digital instrument panel option was discontinued); Police Interceptors were given an engine hour meter.[20]

Trim[edit]

Carried over from the 1992-1997 Crown Victoria, the second-generation Crown Victoria was marketed in two trim levels: Ford Crown Victoria and Ford Crown Victoria LX (internally designated P73 and P74, respectively).[28] The Crown Victoria P71 was carried over, with Ford creating the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor as a stand-alone model for 1999.

For 2000, Ford offered a "Special Edition" option package for the LX; along with namesake exterior badging, the interior was fitted with two-tone leather seating.[28]

For 2001, Ford offered a counterpart to the Mercury Grand Marquis LSE, named the Sport Appearance Package. Alongside the standard Handling and Performance Package, the Sport Appearance Package offered 5-passenger seating with a floor-mounted shifter, 5-spoke aluminum wheels, and monochromatic exterior trim.[28] For 2002, the Sport Appearance Package was renamed Crown Victoria LX Sport; with the Handling and Performance Package, it was fitted with rear air suspension, a 3.27:1 rear-axle ratio, and a larger rear stabilizer bar.[28] Sharing many of the performance upgrades of the Mercury Marauder (with the exception of the engine), the LX Sport was produced through 2006. For 2007, most features of the LX Sport returned as the Handling and Performance Package became a stand-alone option.

2008–2011: Fleet sales[edit]

Ford Crown Victoria as a taxi in New York City

In 2006, after factoring out fleet/Police Interceptor sales (95% of production[29]), retail sales of the Crown Victoria dwindled to 3,000 (coming within 1,100 units of the Ford GT supercar), outsold by its Mercury Grand Marquis counterpart by an 18-to-1 margin. For 2008, Ford ended retail sale of the Crown Victoria in the United States, removing the model from its website (later replacing it with the newly revived 2008 Ford Taurus); through Ford Fleet, sales continued of the Police Interceptor and commercial (taxi/fleet/LWB) variants.[29] Subsequently, the only retail market selling the Ford Crown Victoria was the GCC/Middle East, with the Crown Victoria sold alongside the Mercury Grand Marquis.[30]

For 2009, the Crown Victoria model line underwent a consolidation, as the LX became the sole version of the standard-wheelbase Crown Victoria (alongside the Police Interceptor). In line with its Mercury and Lincoln counterparts, 17-inch wheels became standard, with the LX adopting the 5-spoke alloy wheels of the LX Sport/Handling and Performance Package. To streamline manufacturing, several features were standardized, including power-adjustable pedals and side airbags. To comply with federal regulations, recessed power window switches were added (replacing a design used since 1995).

The Ford Crown Victoria is the only Panther vehicle which was produced for the 2012 model year, as the Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln Town Car, and Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor were discontinued during the 2011 model year. As 2012 production was illegal for sale in the United States (due to lack of stability control),[31] the entire 2012 production was exported to the Middle East.

Discontinuation[edit]

From the 1992 introduction of the Crown Victoria to the 2005 introduction of the Ford Five Hundred, the layout of American full-size sedans underwent an extensive transition. By 1996, as General Motors ended production of the Chevrolet Caprice, Buick Roadmaster, and Cadillac Fleetwood, virtually all competitors of the Crown Victoria had adopted front-wheel drive, with a five-passenger configuration largely replacing six-passenger seating (with the first two generations of the Toyota Avalon becoming the sole Japanese-brand sedan marketed in North America with a front bench seat).

As an unintended consequence of the 1996 discontinuation of the Chevrolet Caprice, in the late 1990s, the Crown Victoria secured a near-monopoly of police car sales and significant market share of taxi vehicles; both segments viewed body-on-frame construction with rear-wheel drive as advantageous attributes. As the sole remaining competitor of Crown Victoria was its Mercury Grand Marquis counterpart, to decrease internal competition, marketing for the Crown Victoria was de-emphasized, shifting buyers interested in Ford vehicles to the Taurus; buyers seeking full-size vehicles were shifted towards the Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car.

For 2005, Ford introduced the Five Hundred sedan, deriving its chassis components from the Volvo S80. The larger of the two cars intended to replace the Ford Taurus (alongside the Ford Fusion), the front-wheel drive Five Hundred was the first completely new full-size Ford sedan since 1979. While nearly a foot shorter than the Crown Victoria, the Five Hundred offered comparable interior dimensions; in a major shift, the Five Hundred adopted a five-passenger configuration as standard.

The 2006 Ford restructuring plan The Way Forward ultimately sealed the fate of the Ford Crown Victoria. Coinciding with the 2008 withdrawal of the Crown Victoria from retail sale (see above), in 2009, Ford announced the 2011 closure of St. Thomas Assembly in Southwold, Ontario, Canada. At the time, production of the Ford Panther platform was to cease, as the architecture was unable to support electronic stability control, required for 2012 vehicles sold in the United States and Canada. In line with the announcement, the Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car were discontinued without replacement (the former, as part of the closure of the Mercury brand).

From August 31, 2011, St. Thomas Assembly produced a short run of 2012 model year Ford Crown Victorias; all vehicles were produced for GCC export, as they were illegal for sale in the United States and Canada. On September 15, 2011, the final Ford Crown Victoria rolled off the assembly line, destined for export to Saudi Arabia;[32] the vehicle was the final Panther-platform vehicle produced and the final vehicle produced at St. Thomas Assembly.

As with the Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car, the Ford Crown Victoria was discontinued with no direct successor. The Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is the only Panther-platform vehicle that was directly replaced, as Ford introduced Ford Police Interceptor sedan (based on the Taurus) and the Police Interceptor Utility (based on the Ford Explorer);[33] both vehicles are derived from each other and are redesigned versions of the chassis introduced by the Ford Five Hundred. In other market segments, in 2010, a variant of the Ford Transit Connect was developed specifically for taxicab usage.[34][35] While not the winner of the New York City Taxi of Tomorrow competition, the Transit Connect has been adopted for use elsewhere in the United States.[34]

Export[edit]

Change of Canadian availability[edit]

Ford of Canada ended retail sale of the Ford Crown Victoria following the 1999 model year.[36] Coinciding with the 1999 withdrawal of Mercury from Canada, the Crown Victoria was replaced in retail markets by a Ford-marketed Grand Marquis (though Mercury-badged), which was replaced by the 2010 Ford Taurus. In fleet markets, the Crown Victoria remained for sale (along with the Police Interceptor) through its 2011 discontinuation.

Middle East market[edit]

Large American sedans have always been part of the landscape in the Middle East. After the discontinuation of the American-produced Chevrolet Caprice in 1996, the Crown Victoria and its twin, the Mercury Grand Marquis became the car of choice for buyers of large American cars in the region. In 1999, General Motors responded to its loss of market share in the region with a reintroduction of the Chevrolet Caprice. No longer produced in North America, the 1999 Caprice was a left-hand drive version of the Australian Holden WH Statesman/Caprice.

Towards the end of its production life, sales of the Ford Panther platform remained strong in the Middle East, especially in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. As stability control was not required for export for this region, all 2012 model year production of the Crown Victoria was exported to the Middle East.

Models and specifications[edit]

2003 model Crown Victoria LX in Kuwait. Vehicle equipped with Export Handling Package and features Saudi Arabian specifications.

Vehicles destined for the Middle East are referred to as "GCC Spec" vehicles, and the Crown Victoria was available in five different trim levels in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries:

  • Standard (P72 VIN designation)
  • Sport (P73)
  • Standard Long-Wheelbase (P70)
  • LX (P74)
  • LX Sport (P74)

While options and standard features varied from country to country in the region, the following is listed as standard equipment on all 2011 models:

  • 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)

The warranty for the Crown Victoria was 5 years/200,000 kilometers (125,000 miles) – whichever came first.

2005 Crown Victoria Standard at a Ford-Lincoln-Mercury dealership in Kuwait

A driver's side spotlight assembly was optional on Standard and Standard Long-Wheelbase models. On Sport, LX, and LX Sport models, the body is painted in a monochromatic paint style; with Ford offering Dark Toreador Red, Silver Birch, Tungsten and Black as color choices. A trunklid spoiler available on the Mercury Marauder was standard on the Sport and LX Sport while optional on LX and Standard trims. LX and LX Sport models were equipped with power 8-way driver and front passenger seats. A DVD entertainment system (marketed as "Export DVD Entertainment System") was added for the 2007 model year; it was optional on Sport, LX and LX Sport models.

For GCC-spec vehicles, the optional Handling and Performance Package available in the United States was rebranded the Export Handling Package. In GCC-Spec vehicles, a 2.73:1 rear axle ratio is used and a true dual exhaust is included (standard equipment on all standard-wheelbase export Crown Victorias). Included as part of the Sport and LX Sport trims and optional on the LX, the package includes tuned rear air suspension, revised coil springs, handling shock absorbers and an upsized rear stabilizer bar. On GCC-Spec Crown Victorias, the option is externally distinguished by a monochromatic paint scheme.

In Kuwait, where it was outsold by the Mercury Grand Marquis, Ford sold only the Standard and Standard Long-Wheelbase versions of the Crown Victoria after 2000; the LX was discontinued in 1999. Due to the smaller market size in Kuwait, the authorized importer/dealer focused sales of higher-trim vehicles on the Mercury Grand Marquis.

2008 "Special Edition"[edit]

With no major redesign since 1998, in order to remain competitive, Ford designed a trim package for the Crown Victoria in the Middle East for the 2008 model year. Known as the Special Edition, it was 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 was not listed in any sales literature, in Saudi Arabia it was available with a choice of different colors. In Kuwait, this model was only available in black (due to market size); the price was approximately KWD 6,000 (approximately $22,000 USD).

Rear view, showing Mercury Marauder spoiler 
3-bar grille 
A 2008 Crown Victoria P70 (Standard Long Wheelbase) at a dealership in Kuwait. 

Variants[edit]

Police Interceptor (1998–2012)[edit]

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 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 chrome trim under the tail lights through 1999 models and black trim under the tail lights on 2000 and later models. 1999 through 2000 models have a blacked out version of the standard chrome bar grille, while 2001 and up models have a black honeycomb type grille. They also have several "heavier-duty" mechanical upgrades, and newer models have additional safety features to deal with fuel-tank safety concerns. Ford has replaced the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor with upgraded and heavy-duty versions of the Ford Explorer and Ford Taurus.[37] In response, many 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.[38]

Long-wheelbase commercial version (2002–2012)[edit]

Extended Wheelbase Crown Victoria (US Spec)

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 extra 6 inches (15 cm) 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 to 2006, with an available street-appearance trim option from 2002 to 2004, due to its targeted use mostly in the taxi and livery market.

In the Middle East, long-wheelbase versions of both the Mercury Grand Marquis and Crown Victoria were available to the general public.

Safety concerns and controversy[edit]

Fuel tank[edit]

While the car has been highly rated for safety, there was some controversy and lawsuits in the 1990s and 2000s over Ford Crown Victoria gas tank leaks after certain types of high speed impacts, specifically when being hit in the rear end at high speeds. These impacts caused 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.[citation needed]

The reports that the cars were more prone to fires during a rear collision were a simple combination of three things. First, most law enforcement agencies relied heavily on the Crown Victoria as their primary vehicle, meaning that any police-related auto accident was 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 (65 to 75 mph (105 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.[39] 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.[40]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

Intake manifold defect[edit]

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. This problem can be remedied by upgrading the intake manifold to the 2002 and up version.

Sales[edit]

Calendar year American sales
1993[41] 101,685
1994[41] 103,040
1995[42] 98,163
1996[42] 108,789
1997[43] 107,872
1998[43] 111,531
1999[44] 114,669
2000[44] 92,047
2001[45] 95,261
2002[45] 79,716
2003[46] 78,541
2004[46] 70,816
2005[47] 63,939
2006[47] 62,976
2007[48] 60,901
2008[48] 48,557
2009[49] 33,255
2010[49] 33,722
2011[50] 46,725
2012[51] 4,429

References[edit]

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External links[edit]