Friday , June 22 2018
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No More Cop Cars

Summary:
Five years or so from now, there may be no more cop cars. Vehicles used by cops, certainly. But not cars. These are being retired – in the Bladerunner taking-care-of-the-Replicants sense. Ford just announced they won’t be making the Taurus – which is the basis for the Taurus cop car – for much longer. So there goes that one. The other one is the Dodge Charger, extremely popular with law-enforcers because of its rear-drive layout and powerful Hemi V8 engine. But – savor the irony – the government’s fuel economy fatwas have made it very hard for any car company to continue mass-producing such a car, and the Charger is the last such car left on the field. They use “too much” gas, says Uncle – who levies fines to discourage people (well,

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Five years or so from now, there may be no more cop cars.

Vehicles used by cops, certainly. But not cars. These are being retired – in the Bladerunner taking-care-of-the-Replicants sense. Ford just announced they won’t be making the Taurus – which is the basis for the Taurus cop car – for much longer. So there goes that one. The other one is the Dodge Charger, extremely popular with law-enforcers because of its rear-drive layout and powerful Hemi V8 engine.

But – savor the irony – the government’s fuel economy fatwas have made it very hard for any car company to continue mass-producing such a car, and the Charger is the last such car left on the field. They use “too much” gas, says Uncle – who levies fines to discourage people (well, people like you and me) from buying them. Which in turn discourages car companies from manufacturing them.

And so, they don’t.

Fiat – which owns Dodge (and Chrysler) may not keep the Charger production line going much longer for exactly this reason. The current Charger is big, heavy – and too thirsty.

Not for us – but for Uncle.

The Charger’s presence in FiatChrysler’s product lineup drags down the company’s overall Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) numbers. CAFE being the formal name for Uncle’s fuel economy fatwas.

The Charger is also ancient in terms of its underlying chassis. It dates back to the ’90s – when Chrysler (this was before Fiat) got access through the partnership it had at that time with Mercedes to the Benz E-Class chassis, which became the basis for what became the current Charger and its higher-zoot cousin, the Chrysler 300. Both are long overdue for a reboot. But that may not happen because of CAFE and if it does happen, making the next-gen Charger CAFE-compliant would probably mean a smaller, lighter and probably front-drive car not suited for cop work.

GM, meanwhile, is killing off the full-size Impala and the mid-sized Malibu is too small (and underpowered) for cop work.

That leaves SUVs.

These are quickly becoming the cop “car” of choice. Models like the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Explorer are already in general use for harassing and collecting; their ranks are certain to expand as the number of potential cars still being made that could serve as cop cars slims to none and the remaining fleet of cop cars attrites out of service.

The cops seem not to mind. SUVs are large and comfortable and also rear-drive (well, the Tahoe is) and some are built with big V8s, which cops love as much as we do.

Ironically, these heavy and un-aerodynamic machines use even more gas than the politically incorrect cars being  . . . retired.

Of course, the government isn’t overly “concerned” (the word regularly used by the government when it comes to justifying new ways to micromanage us) about how much gas it uses. Uncle is only “concerned” when it comes to how much gas we burn – even if we’re the ones paying for it.

Some animals always being more equal than others.

And when you have unlimited access to other people’s money, paying “gas guzzler” penalties is hardly a bother, either.

But never mind that.

Cops in SUVs could prove to be an unintentional boon for us.

Eric Peters
Eric Peters is a freelance car/bike/political columnist. He escaped the corporate-owned media Big Boys years ago. Without the censorship of the corporate tools

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