Photo: Ford Motor Co.

Photo: Ford Motor Co.

Ford is showing final production models of its 2013 Police Interceptor at the Chicago Auto Show, which opens to the public on Friday.

The Detroit automaker's replacement to the Crown Vic interceptor began rolling off the line at the Chicago Assembly Plant in January.

Ford will offer the 2013 Ford Police Interceptor sedan to agencies in front-wheel and all-wheel, including its EcoBoost V-6 with all-wheel drive. The vehicle arrives with an array of safety technologies and an interior designed to meet law enforcement needs.

The version being shown in Chicago until Feb. 19 is the final production version with parts that will ship with the vehicle, Lisa Teed, Ford's Police Interceptor marketing manager, tells POLICE Magazine. The first vehicles were produced in January. The vehicle was given the 2013 model-year designation because production began in January rather than in 2011.

Among the first vehicles produced was the 2013 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, which sits on a car rather than truck platform.

"To develop the all-new Police Interceptor, Ford engineers worked hand-in-hand with Ford's Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals, which provided input on key vehicle attributes such as safety, performance, durability, driver comfort and functionality," Teed said in a release.

Among its safety features, the Police Interceptor is engineered to pass 75-mph rear-end crash testing. The new Police Interceptor also features Ford's Safety Canopy side-curtain airbag rollover protection system to help protect front and rear outboard passengers in both rollover and side-impact crashes. The multiple side-curtain airbags use Ford's Roll Fold technology to help them slip between the occupant and the side window.

As for engine performance, the V-6 engines that arrive in the interceptor outperformed the Ford Crown Vic's V-8 engine during the Michigan State Police's annual vehicle testing. The vehicles arrive with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that's rated at 263 hp with E85 compatibility and a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 twin-turbocharged, direct-injection engine rated at 365 hp. The EcoBoost delivers 350 lb.-ft. of torque across a broad rpm range, according to Ford.

"EcoBoost powertrain performance is optimized for closing speed and maximizing takedowns, thus preventing high-speed pursuits from even forming," said Bill Gubing, chief engineer for the police interceptors.  

To meet the rigors of the durability testing, the brakes have been increased in size and performance. The cooling package is purpose-built as well, featuring a heavy-duty alternator and larger radiator. Its honeycomb grille is designed to work in harmony with the interior components, offering more airflow throughout the vehicle. Plus, the standard 18-inch steel wheels are vented, designed to work in concert with the enhanced brake system.

Front seats have been specially designed, with a lower bolster removed to better accommodate officers' utility belts. Inserted into the seatback are anti-stab plates, designed to protect front-seat occupants. The Police Interceptor's second row also has been optimized to address police-specific needs. The vinyl seats are specially sculpted and set back to improve second-row space and maximize legroom.

The back door hinges are modified to open 10 degrees more than traditional rear doors. The Ford Police Interceptor is equipped with a column shift specifically designed so the console area is free for the ever-increasing amounts of aftermarket police equipment.

The new vehicle also features:

  • BLIS (Blind Spot Information System): The system uses two radar sensors located in the rear quarter panels to detect vehicles in the surrounding lanes. If a vehicle enters the driver's blind-spot zones, the system alerts the driver with a warning light in the sideview mirror.
  • Cross-traffic alert: This system uses the existing BLIS radar modules to sense oncoming traffic when slowly backing out of a parking spot. This system functions while the vehicle is in reverse and warns the driver when cross-traffic appears within three car widths.
  • Rear-view camera: When the vehicle is in rear camera mode, a color image with guidance markers on the rearview mirror assists the driver in backing up.
  • Reverse Sensing System: An audible tone will alert the driver to certain objects up to 6 feet behind the vehicle.
  • Standard AdvanceTrac ESC (electronic stability control): This helps maintain the intended path by measuring side-to-side yaw, or skidding, by the vehicle's speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle. When wheel slip is sensed, AdvanceTrac reduces engine torque and applies selected brakes
  • Ford SYNC: The hands-free information system has the potential to be customized and remapped to work specifically with police aftermarket equipment such as lights and sirens.