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2013 Ford Police Interceptor Coming To A Street Near You

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By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

It’s time to say good-bye to the Ford Crown Vic police cars. The Crown Vic has served many federal, state and local law enforcement agencies around the U.S. very well since about 1983. New design Police Interceptor vehicles are now being built by Ford.

The all-new 2013 Ford Police Interceptors, offered in two body styles, are assembled at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant. Chicago-area auto writers were invited to get up close and personal…including behind the wheel with lights flashing and sirens blasting…and learn about these new vehicles.

I had been generally aware of the development of new police vehicles that would be “coming to town”, but not in great detail. The big surprise for me from Ford is that their new Interceptors would have all-wheel drive as standard equipment along with the required suspension, brake and wheel/tire designs calibrated for aggressive driving and to provide outstanding ride, handling and control. We’ve all heard it said that police officers want a rear-wheel drive vehicle, but after driving these new Fords police departments hands down around the country are changing their tune.

Ford tells me that 98% of the Interceptor utility and 75% of the sedans are being ordered in all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive is optional and would be suitable for non-pursuit and administrative police work.

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So yes, 2013 Ford Police Interceptors come in two body styles, a sedan and a utility. We know them in civilian life as Taurus and Explorer. But they are built off the same platform. In the police world, they are the same under the skin with a choice of body-style. Now the big advantage in being the same underneath is cost to maintain. The hardware is the same for both the sedan and the utility.

We know that V8 engines are not offered in the civilian versions of these vehicles. Well, Ford has done some superb engineering to provide V8 power with V6 engines. The sedan and utility both have 3.7-liter V6 rated at 305HP. For more performance a V6 Ecoboost on the sedan is rated at 365HP. Zero to 65mph is in 5.8 seconds. Top sped is 131mph or 148mph with the Ecoboost engine. The transmission is a 6-speed automatic with column shifter to leave room in the center console for all the police electronics.

Police cars use a lot of fuel and spend a lot of time idling. Idle fuel economy is improved by about 35% and overall fuel economy is improved by about 20%. Officer protection is important in any police vehicle and Ford’s Police Interceptors are the only vehicles certified to the 75-mph rear-impact crash test. Also, these vehicles are tested to a 40-mph curb test…yes, drive over a curb and keep on going. An undercarriage deflector plate helps prevent damage during police driving situations. Front doors have ballistic panel inserts. Eighteen-inch five-spoke heavy-duty steel wheels specifically designed for enhanced brake cooling are the same for both the sedan and utility. Behind them are huge 13.9inch brake rotors.

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Ford didn’t develop the Police Interceptor on their own. The Ford Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals provided input on key vehicle attributes that are “must haves” in a new patrol and pursuit vehicle. The Ford Police Interceptor sedan and utility are the first-and-only pursuit-rated all-wheel-drive vehicles produced for North American law enforcement agencies.

So…keep an eye in your rear view mirror. And, I think the Chicago PD will especially like these vehicles when it is snowing.

© Larry Nutson