At a private fleet event later today, Ford Motor Co. will introduce a pursuit-rated Police Interceptor utility vehicle at the Chicago plant where it will be built.
The new vehicle is a companion to Ford's Taurus-based Police Interceptor sedan unveiled in March. Both vehicles will debut toward the end of 2011 as 2012 model year offerings.
"We understand today's police departments require adaptability," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "Ford is committed to remaining the nation's largest provider of police vehicles, and we're offering law enforcement officials a complete portfolio of options that are purpose-built, capable and delivered with the safety, technology and performance they need to excel at their jobs."
Ford's new Police Interceptor utility vehicle is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. This Ti-VCT engine is rated to deliver at least 280 hp and can operate on E85 fuel. It's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that combines lowered initial gears for improved off-the-line acceleration and higher gearing for improved efficiency at lower engine rpm when cruising. Two drivetrain options are available that provide off-road capability teamed with a multipurpose cargo area calibrated for loads of up to 800 pounds.
Like the sedan, the utility is built to handle the severe law enforcement duty cycle and will deliver at least 20 percent more fuel efficiency than the 4.6-liter single overhead cam (SOHC) V8 offered in the current Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.
When developing the next-generation Police Interceptors, Ford worked with its Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals to provide input on key vehicle attributes such as safety, performance, durability, driver convenience and comfort.
"The combination of the sedan and utility versions of the Police Interceptor allows Ford to deliver a complete, diverse and efficient solution to law enforcement's pursuit needs," said Ken Czubay, vice president of marketing, sales and service. "These vehicles were developed step-by-step with our valuable Police Advisory Board, so we have had customer feedback throughout the development process and provided an efficient solution for fleet managers."
For safety features, the police interceptors have passed 75-mph rear-end crash testing, according to the company.
The Police Interceptor utility vehicle features Ford's Safety Canopy side-curtain airbag rollover protection system that helps protect passengers in both rollover and side-impact crashes. The multiple side-curtain airbags use Ford's unique roll-fold technology to help position them between the occupant and the side window.
Unique to the utility vehicle is Ford's state-of-the-art curve control technology, designed to help drivers maintain control of their vehicles when taking curves at high speeds. Curve control senses when a vehicle is entering a curve too quickly, and can apply four-wheel smart braking to reduce vehicle speed by up to 10 mph in approximately one second to help drivers follow their intended path.
The vehicle's all-wheel-drive drivetrain is equipped with a water-cooled power transfer unit. Brakes have been increased in size and performance, and the cooling package features a heavy-duty alternator and larger radiator. Standard 18-inch wheels are vented, designed to work in concert with the enhanced brake system.
The vehicle's interior package is designed for the needs of police, maximizing officer comfort and cargo capacity. The front seats are designed with a lower bolster to accommodate utility belts, and just like the sedan, Ford's Police Interceptor utility offers a column shift, designed to leave the console area free for the ever-increasing amounts of equipment necessary for officers to do their jobs.
Because police require a lot of gear, additional space in the utility provides plenty of room for K-9 officers and SWAT operations, including room for the full-size spare tire to be stored safely under the cargo area.
The new utility vehicle also features:
- Ford SYNC: The Ford-exclusive, hands-free information system provides officers the ability to operate their various communication and audio equipment by voice control.
- 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 industry-exclusive system functions only while the vehicle is in reverse and warns 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 will assist 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.
- Remappable steering wheel controls: Helping officers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, remappable steering wheel controls offer the police the flexibility to work specifically with police aftermarket equipment to customize voice-controlled lights and sirens at the push of a button.
- Standard AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control): This system 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.
The vehicle, along with four additional new models of police vehicles, will be rated during annual testing by the Michigan State Police and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department this fall.