Ford announces all-new Police Interceptor for North America
Ford Motor Company's new Police Interceptor, due to replace the Crown Victoria currently used by most North American police forces
For the past 18 years, the cop car of choice for North American police forces has been a modified version of the Ford Crown Victoria. And here’s an interesting fact about the Crown Vic: it hasn’t been available to the general public since 2008. Here’s another: it looks like something your grandpa would drive. While police forces like the cars because of their V8 engines, rear-wheel-drive, and easy-to-repair body-on-frame construction, they have become aesthetically and technologically dated. It’s time for a change, so the Ford Motor Company is offering one - last Friday, they revealed a new purpose-built Police Interceptor, which will take over when the Crown Victoria goes out of production in late 2011. The Ford Taurus-based sedan is said to exceed the durability, safety, performance and fuel economy of the Crown Vic.
The Police Interceptor will have a 3.5-liter V6 engine that “performs equal to or better than V8 engines.” There will be two powertrain options, depending on the needs of individual police forces. The standard version will deliver at least 263hp, at a reported 25 percent more fuel efficiency than the Vic’s 4.6-liter V8. Cops who engage in a lot of high-speed chases, however, might opt for the twin-turbocharged direct-injection EcoBoost engine. It will deliver at least 365hp, supposedly outperforming normally-aspirated V8 police cruisers, while keeping fuel economy and CO2 emissions similar to those for the standard engine.
The interior will sport features such as front seats that accommodate bulky utility belts, anti-stab plates in the front seatbacks, and a column-shifter designed to keep the console area open and available for aftermarket equipment.
The Interceptor has been engineered to pass 75mph rear-end crash testing, like the Crown Vic before it. It also has side curtain air bags, to protect front and rear passengers in the event of a rollover or side impact. The vehicle will have oversized brakes and vented 18-inch steel wheels, to enhance braking performance.
Other safety features will include:
- The Blind Spot Information System, a radar-based electronic system that alerts the driver to vehicles in their blind spots, or that are approaching from the sides as they’re backing out of parking spaces
- A rear view camera system
- A reverse sensing system, that alerts the driver to objects behind the car
- Electronic stability control, which reduces engine torque and applies selected brakes when wheel slip is detected
A purpose-built Ford police SUV is also said to be on the way.
And finally, if a high-tech Ford Taurus police car seems at all familiar to you, you might be remembering it from the 1987 film Robocop. In that film, the Detroit police force of the future drove matte-black Tauruses. Let's hope no cyborg cops or killer police robots are also on the way.
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
This new Taurus is, admittedly, a large technological advance for police fleets. But as the article points out, cops like rear wheel drive. I had hoped that there would be some backup information, testing, or other justification, to prevent that fact from going into the negative column when the buying decisions are made. My guess is that this \'package\' will be too tempting for many police fleets to resist, and they will add their name to the front_wheel_drive_ification of America simply because this is what they\'re being offered. On the other hand, I have observed a marked increase in RWD Dodges in local police fleets (in New York) in the past few years, in spite of the seasonal slippery weather. Hey Ford; competition is good!
If ever there was an app that needed to be a plug in series hybrid, cop cars are it. They are faster, far more fuel eff and a battery pack that can run AC, electronics without using the engine.
A 250hp EV drive motor and a 30hp generator is the ticket here costing far less than gas for such a vehicle as they proposed.
Hey as I understand it, this is not a done deal. Down here in Australia, the GMH offshoot Holden is bidding hard with a version of the Holden Commodore, which in a previous model was sold up there prior to the GFC as a Pontiac GTO 2 door. The Commodore is a rear-wheel drive vehicle with excellent handling (My Ford Fiesta is better but I drive one of these for work and its good for a big car) and is sold with V6 and V8 motors ranging from 250 to around 500 HP.
Here is a review of a mid-spec v8 version sold in the UK...
I think the longer wheel-base Caprice model is the one being proposed, which has more room in the back for a barrier etc. Ford has been pushing the \"American made\" line pretty hard but the police apparently prefer the rear-wheel drive Holden. The Holden-designed platform under the Commodore/Caprice is to be used as GMH\'s only rear wheel drive platform globally I believe and will be produced in the US in shortened form for the Corvette line.
Hang on a minute. The current model, the Crown Vic, has a 4600cc (280.71 cu. in.) V8 and that the rumoured 365bhp engine out of the high speed pursuit Taurus is more than they get out of the current engine? How on earth is this possible? I know that a lot of American cars come with big, lazy, V8 engines, but why on earth don\'t the police engines develop at least 100bhp/litre? I mean it is not exactly rocket science! The likes of Honda and BMW, to name just two, have been producing normally aspirated engines with this power to capacity figure for the best part of twenty years now! 460bhp is the minimum every Ford Crown Vic in service with a police force in the USA should have.
@Gareth, true the 4.6 is rated at about 250 hp. Considering what the police do, I don\'t see where an additional 200 hp will help. They aren\'t drag racing or in a circuit race, the police is a force because they are a \'force\' aka team. Number of officers will do more than a few hundred extra unused ponies. Your \'lazy v8\' argument smacks of 1998.
@Hogey74, You\'re forgetting that Dodge is also marketing their Dodge Charger Interceptor. Definitely the better looking option
I\'ve never understood why proper cop interceptors haven\'t had massive power on request. Example with twin Turbo Chargers they could have a boost button on dash that increases boost hugely to make sure they have serious power, but ONLY when needed for pursuits. Rest of the time it could just act as a low power boost system.
For the ultimate, fit a simple Nitrous system and your power levels would be massive, yet quite affordable.
A V6 with twin turbos is in a different league than a regular V8 non aspirated cruiser. Heck even the first V6 Twin Turbos in the 1990 300 Z were awesome and they came out twenty years ago but at a cost of about 35,000 in 1990 they did not sell many. The new Dodge Hemi/Charger is the one that Ford will really have to worry about it is rear wheel drive and it will haul assets. The Pontiac G8 was built on the Holden chassis and could be moved over and re-badged as a Chevy for Police Production since GM wants it to be sold in limited numbers due to fuel economy.
The Ford Taurus, arriving behind a car near you.
All cops should be riding bicycles. That way we would be concentrating on our driving and not spending 90% of the time looking around for cops. Only my granny drives at the legal speed limit.
cheers all and a happy Easter!!
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