Ford Police Interceptor Utility test drive: The fastest police car is Ford’s new SUV


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The brand new Ford Police Interceptor Utility is the quickest police pursuit car in the united statesA..

The Explorer based-SUV is on the market with at 400 hp twin-turbocharged Three.Zero-liter V6 that delivers prime efficiency, in line with the Michigan State Police benchmark exams. It’s faster and sooner round a observe than the competitor’s sedans, to not point out the discontinued Taurus-based cruiser. Its 1:36:47 lap time round Grattan Raceway beating the all-wheel-drive Dodge Charger Hemi V8’s 1:37:10.

However the pursuit-rated SUV can be supplied as a hybrid that mixes a Three.Three-liter V6 and an electrical motor tucked between it and a 10-speed transmission. It’s not a plug-in, but it surely does have sufficient juice within the battery pack to run the air con, lights, computer systems and even a radar gun for prolonged intervals without having to always idle the engine. Ford stated in exams the engine solely runs 20 p.c of the time in comparison with the last-generation Interceptor Utility when parked.


That saves loads of gasoline, as does the hybrid’s 24 mpg mixed gasoline economic system ranking. However the hybrid additionally delivers 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque, which is greater than sufficient to place within the second-best efficiency amongst SUVs within the MSP exams. However its prowess isn’t all about energy. Whereas the entire Interceptor Utilities come commonplace with all-wheel-drive, the brand new Explorer rides on a rear-wheel-drive platform that improves their dealing with in comparison with the outdated front-wheel-drive-based mannequin.

Put your foot down in any of them and as much as 100 p.c of the ability will go to the rear wheels. Go away it there lengthy sufficient and the car switches into Pursuit mode, which loosens up the steadiness management, makes use of the transmission extra aggressively and, within the case of the hybrid, works the engine to maintain the battery charged in order that the total electrical motor enhance is at all times accessible. Prospects can even order the Interceptor Utility with a “hybrid delete” choice that comes with simply the three.Three-liter V6 rated at 285 hp and 260 lb-ft.

In comparison with the civilian Explorer, which may also be supplied with the turbo V6 and the Hybrid together with a 2.Three-liter four-cylinder turbo, the Interceptor Utilities get cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks … you realize the drill. Their brakes are additionally larger to higher dissipate warmth and they’re geared up with a rear chassis brace designed to face up to being rear-ended by a automobile touring at 75 mph. The rear load flooring that may deal with 880 kilos and most 5,000-pound tow scores assist them dwell as much as the Utility a part of the mannequin title.


The Interceptor Utilities additionally get an additional set of eyes behind their heads courtesy of a Perimeter Alert. It makes use of sensors to observe individuals approaching the car from the perimeters and behind, runs the data by means of an algorithm that may decide potential threats after which activates the rear digicam, locks the doorways and rolls up the home windows robotically whereas alerting the officers contained in the car.

I drove all three variations on a check observe arrange within the car parking zone at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., and the swap to the brand new rear-biased platform was obvious throughout the board. The outdated front-wheel-drive Interceptor Utility exhibited tons of understeer when pushed onerous, whereas the brand new ones are way more desirous to carry the rear ends round in tight turns while you apply the throttle.

Try this within the turbo, and the SUV simply strikes. Ford stated it solely expects it to make up about 10 p.c of gross sales as a result of many departments, as a rule, don’t have interaction in high-speed pursuits, and it’s so quick that it may be an excessive amount of for some inexperienced officers within the ones that do permit them. (Consumers of the sporty Explorer ST that shares it ought to remember that you possibly can’t outrun the regulation … it has aerial models.)


The three.Three-liter isn’t any slouch by itself, however the hybrid is probably the most compelling powertrain and can doubtless be the best-seller, in line with Ford. It’s loads quick, handles in addition to the others and makes a singular noise because the fuel engine and 44 hp electrical motor wind up in unison. It additionally makes a cool, futuristic hum to alert pedestrians as its cruising round city at low speeds on electrical energy.

Ford bought extra Interceptor Utilities than each different police automobile mixed final 12 months, and the brand new mannequin is nominally priced at $37,500 for the three.Three-liter, $41,000 for the hybrid and $42,000 for the turbo, however ultimate transaction costs can differ on fleet gross sales. Deliveries are anticipated to start in July.


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