Ford accounts for nearly two-thirds of police vehicle sales in the United States and apparently, the key to continue winning over the hearts of law enforcement community is even better-performing vehicles and the ability to save taxpayers’ money.
According to Ford, the new 2020 Police Interceptor Utility, with standard hybrid all-wheel-drive powertrain, will save police agencies and taxpayers anywhere between $3,500 to $5,700 per vehicle annually in fuel costs over current Police Interceptor Utility.
The Police Interceptor Hybrid’s powertrain allows the engine to shut off for extended periods, powering the electrical equipment via its lithium-ion hybrid battery, helping achieve significant reductions in fuel usage and CO2 emissions. The company projects an EPA-estimated rating of 24 mpg combined, a 41 percent improvement over the current Police Interceptor Utility.
The 3.7-litre unit is replaced with a standard 3.3-liter hybrid, plus available 3.0-litre EcoBoost and 3.3-litre V6 engines. All engines are paired to a new 10-speed automatic transmission and feature standard full-time Intelligent All-Wheel Drive and deep snow/sand traction control mode.
The output figures of the powertrain is expected at a later date, as the new Interceptor is based on the 2020 Ford Explorer which is expected to debut in Detroit.
At Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department testing, the new Police Interceptor Utility hybrid bested the outgoing 3.7-litre model in 0-60 mph by 1.1 seconds and 0-100 mph by 4.7 seconds. It also turned a fastest lap time that was 2.4 seconds better than the 3.7-litre and fastest average lap time that was 1.7 seconds better. The vehicle recorded a top speed of 137 mph (220 km/h).
It is also loaded with technology such as factory-installed Police Perimeter Alert which uses sensors to monitor an approximately 270-degree area around the vehicle. It analyzes nearby movement to detect potentially threatening behavior. When such motion is detected, the system automatically turns on the rear camera, sounds a chime, rolls up the windows and locks the doors. Motion trails of the detected threat appear on the digital instrument cluster so officers can monitor.
Ford also equips its new Police Interceptor Utility and Police Responder Hybrid Sedan with a Ford modem and two years of complimentary Ford Telematics service that enables timely feedback of vehicle usage and location to agency fleet managers.
Safety and Assistance
Optional driver-assist technology includes Pre-Collision Assist with automatic emergency braking, which features Pedestrian Detection and forward collision warning. Additional optional equipment includes Rear Camera On-Demand, which allows officers to view behind the vehicle at the touch of a button, and a host of factory-installed and factory-sealed wiring and lighting packages that offer agencies turnkey solutions.
Ford claims that the Police Interceptors remain the only vehicles in the world engineered to meet Ford’s stringent 75-mph rear-impact crash standard. The federal standard for such testing is 50 mph.
Police Interceptor Utility is tested for enhanced police durability, including improved cooling, specially tuned braking system, front-door tethers, and police-purposed steel wheels, tires and hubcaps that are designed to withstand the rigors of a chase. The vehicle is also tested for 8-inch curb impact, median crossing and 30-mph railroad crossing validation, and water fording to 18 inches at 15 mph and 10 inches at 40 mph.
Other standard equipment includes Bluetooth pass-through commands to mobile devices, to help officers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, low- and high-beam LED headlamps, four user-configurable steering wheel switches, a Class III trailer tow receiver with 5,000-pound capacity and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel.