Photo courtesy of New Mexico State Police.

Photo courtesy of New Mexico State Police.

The New Mexico State Police purchased 54 Ford Police Interceptor sedans to replace its aging fleet of Ford Crown Vics, citing the vehicle's blend of performance, fuel economy, and safety features.

New Mexico troopers will soon be driving the twin-turbo all-wheel drive sedan that's powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The agency hopes to save 20% in fuel costs compared to its Ford Crown Vics, the agency's public information office told POLICE Magazine.

"These new police cruisers are also equipped with an all-wheel-drive system that will assist our officers with responding safely to emergency situations in almost any weather conditions they may encounter," an agency spokesperson wrote in an e-mail.

The agency also cited the vehicle's 75-mph rear-end crash rating in its decision-making process. The vehicles cost about $26,000 each. A private contractor will equip much of the car for police operations, and the agency will add the radio and radar equipment.

"We feel that Ford has provided the law enforcement community with another police vehicle suitable to handle the day to day rigors a police vehicle will endure.  Ford has been a proven performer for our agency and the service and support from Ford and our local dealers has been exceptional.