A new era for the police vehicle is upon us. The age of the tried and true Ford Crown Victoria is finally drawing to a close, and there is no shortage of suitors — ranging from awe-inspiring to yawn-inducing — lining up to replace it as Johnny Law's preferred transport. Here's a quick rundown of what will be protecting tomorrow's streets, as well as what you should be keeping an eye out for on the side of the road and in your rearview mirror.
Ford Police Interceptor Sedan

The official replacement for the Crown Vic Interceptor, this new sedan features all-wheel drive and an available EcoBoost V6 engine to replace the tired V8 of yesteryear. The new engine offers direct injection and turbocharging, making the new Interceptor good for a 5.8-second romp to 60 mph. Based on the latest Taurus, it has posted record performance figures among police cars, handily beating out V8 competition. Get used to these headlights, people — they'll be your new cue to check your speed.
Ford Police Interceptor Utility

Based on the new Ford Explorer, this police SUV sports internals similar to its sedan counterpart, although it sacrifices the sedan's optional 365-plus-horsepower EcoBoost V6 and makes do with the standard 280-horse V6. As in the sedan, the V6 will return a 20 percent increase in fuel economy over the previous model. This will likely be the vehicle of choice for beach and border security, as it replaces the older Explorer-based police SUV currently keeping our sands safe.
Dodge Charger Pursuit

Dodge offers a law enforcement version of its deceptively enormous Charger model, dubbed the Charger Pursuit. The new patrol car comes with an all-new 3.6-liter 291-horsepower V6 engine and available 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Both offer competitive power and are mated to a 5-speed AutoStick automatic transmission with a relocated column-mounted shifter. Along with a power driver's seat and keyless access, the Charger Pursuit includes the Police Equipment Interface Module as standard equipment, a unique perk for budget-conscious local governments.
Chevrolet Impala

While GM offers no fewer than eight vehicles outfitted for police duty, the 2011 Chevrolet Impala will likely be the one most commonly seen roaming neighborhood streets. It is available both marked and unmarked, but unfortunately carries a much more mediocre drivetrain than its competition; its 3.9-liter 230-horsepower V6 and 4-speed autobox are quaintly reminiscent of American sedans of yore. At least its 5-star safety rating will help keep both cops and robbers as safe as possible.
Chevrolet Caprice PPV

Perhaps in an effort to compensate for the lackluster and underendowed Impala, Chevy will also offer an all-new Caprice outfitted for police duty, complete with a 6.0-liter 355-horsepower V8 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. While still technically down in horsepower compared with its competitors, the V8 should be more than adequate to keep up with renegade criminals who somehow believe they can make a clean getaway.
Chevrolet Tahoe

The Chevy Tahoe, hugely popular among housewives, will also serve and protect in the police force during the next year. Obviously not intended for high-speed chases, the SUV will most likely be used for hazardous materials response or K-9 or tactical operations — so if you've got one of these on your tail, you've done something really wrong. Rear-wheel drive with StabiliTrak is standard, while the 4WD version is a logical option for rural areas and off-road duty. Roof rail airbags and rollover sensors are standard, too. Both come with a 5.3-liter V8 engine, good for 320 horsepower.
Chevrolet Express Prisoner Transport

The name says it all — this is where you'll find yourself if you failed to evade the Tahoe. This 1-ton Express van offers standard seating for 12 (an optional row adds three), and comes equipped with a 6.0-liter Vortec V8 engine connected to a 6-speed transmission. While capable of towing 9,300 pounds — 9,700 with the optional diesel engine — the van is not intended for high-speed operations, despite what you may remember from "The A-Team."
Carbon Motors E7

Perhaps the most interesting of the bunch, and not yet production-ready, is the Carbon Motors E7. Packing a brilliant 6-cylinder diesel engine sourced straight from BMW, the E7 is expected to offer horsepower in the 250 to 300 range, with more than 400 lb-ft of torque to push the sedan around. This unique, purpose-built patrol car has yet to be delivered to any police stations, but orders are being taken and examples may be seen cruising public roads before long.