We will soon start seeing Highway Patrol troopers testing new cars that might replace the trusty Ford Crown Victorias they’ve used exclusively since 19-95. The Patrol has 150 to 200 of the last Crown Vics waiting to be put into service. But Ford isn’t making them anymore. Some replacements will soon be on the roads.

Patrol Lieutenant John Hotz says the light bars and sirens are being mounted; the computer terminal is being put in, the radar units, and the video video cameras are being installed in 27 Dodge Chargers. But the Chargers won’t be the only possible replacements being tested. The Patrol is considering a foreign-made car, too–a Chevrolet Caprice made by GM’s Holden subsidiary in Australia.

Ford will offer a replacement for the Crown Vic, but the Interceptor might not be ready for testing before the patrol takes bids for next year’s cars.

The Interceptor, unlike the Charger or the Caprice, will be all-wheel drive, which Hotz thinks could be advantageous to troopers who have to drive on all kinds of roads and in all kinds of conditions.

Hotz hopes the first of the possible Crown Vic replacements, the Chargers, can be on the road ind a couple of weeks.

Listen to inerview with Lt. Hotz 13:23 mp3