The Ford Crown Victoria is one of the most common and revered law-enforcement vehicles produced. It’s rugged, reliable, capable and as old as dirt. There is only so many ways an old car can be updated before the world passes it by.
Fully aware of the shortcomings of the Crown Vic, and the fact it’s going out of production, Ford has diligently worked on a full replacement. Actually – two replacements. What we know as the 2011 Ford Taurus and Ford Explorer, law-enforcement will call them Police Interceptor Sedan and Police Interceptor Utility.
Both vehicles have been rigorously tested and were developed over a 3½-year period specifically for law-enforcement.
For those of you who don’t know: the new Ford Explorer shares a great many of its components with the Ford Taurus. One of the benefits of having similar platforms is component sharing for law-enforcement too. In this case, both vehicles are substantially beefed up with two engine choices and two drive choices.
In their basic front-wheel-drive (FWD) form, both vehicles will have a 280+ horsepower normally aspirated engine. The sedan will make 250 lbs-feet of torque at 4,500 rpm and the utility makes 275 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. Keep in mind: these are prototypes and the numbers may change a bit.
All of the variants will have a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive (AWD) is optional with the normally aspirated engine. If the Police Interceptor Sedan is equipped with the twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine that produces (get this) OVER 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, it has AWD standard.
These vehicles are enhanced/reinforced with beefed up engine, battery, transmission, suspension, brakes, powertrain mounts, 220-amp alternator, cooling systems, power take off (PTO) and tires/wheels. In addition, Ford added AdvanceTrack, Roll Stability Control, ABS, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) Ford Sync and a host of other advancements.
On a side note; an interesting and useful gizmo we enjoyed was the revamped steering wheel mounted controls. Rather than use these controls for entertainment and communication; Ford built in lights, sirens, and other thumb-activated controls. You can tell there was some serious consideration that went in to these vehicles.
The Police Interceptor Utility will have good space for tactical weapons, gear and can easily serve as a K9 unit. If equipped with the monster EcoBoost engine, the Police Interceptor Sedan will make an ideal, high-speed, all weather highway patrol machine.
I’ve driven EcoBoost equipped vehicles before and have been astounded by their remarkably high performance. Even the normally aspirated engine is very powerful. Let me put it another way: if the cops are chasing you in one of these; regardless of what you drive, just pull over and take it like an adult – because you’re NOT getting away.
TFLCar was given a sneak peek and an exclusive interview at Denver’s Police garage in Commerce City. No word yet on who is purchasing what, but many of the motor-pool guys we observed seemed very enthusiastic. With serious competition coming from the new Dodge Charger, Chevrolet Caprice Police Car and Carbon Motors’ diesel E7 Police Car, it will be interesting what law-enforcement agencies choose.
Both vehicles will be ready for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2011.