After unveiling an impressive amount of performance cars this year, Ford’s latest reveal takes performance to a whole other level. The Explorer-based Ford Police Interceptor is America’s best-selling police vehicle, and an updated 2016 model is set to make its debut this week at the Chicago Auto Show.
Working closely with Ford’s Police Advisory Board, the new Police Interceptor benefits from a significant redesign, including new front and rear fascias and an all-new police-specific interior. While an angular new design makes the SUV stand out, a host of new features have been added to keep officers safer and more visible than ever before.
The new Police Interceptor has standard all-wheel drive and two engine options carried over from the previous model. The standard 3.7-liter V6 is good for 304 horsepower and 279 pound-feet of torque, but the optional 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 puts out an impressive 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. The EcoBoost brings serious performance to the already formidable Interceptor: 2014 models with the 3.5 liter were found to be the fastest police vehicles on the road.
Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Normally geared to save fuel, the transmission detects aggressive driving and puts the car into Pursuit Mode, unleashing the car’s full performance potential.
The Explorer-based Interceptors are built in Ford’s Chicago plant, where the SUVs get a unique grille, steel wheels, an upgraded suspension and heavy duty shock-mounts. They’re then shipped to Troy Design and Manufacturing, where the cars are outfitted for duty. In all, 125 different versions of the Police Interceptor are offered with an array of different ballistic shields, sensors, colors, and lighting; there are 25 different lighting patterns alone. On top of the increased visibility and capable performance, the new Police Interceptor’s safety features are what make it really stand out.
The most notable new feature is Surveillance Mode. A rear-mounted sensor can detect someone approaching the car and then automatically raises the windows and locks the doors. This feature will be especially useful on long patrols, and is an industry first — expect it to become a standard feature on all police cars in the future. After suggestions from police, Ford has also included a button to unlock the liftgate from inside the car. The liftgate unlocks for 45 seconds, allowing officers access to the rear. On the last Interceptor, the only way to open the liftgate was with the car’s key.
All of this adds up to a thoroughly modern police car that will be the industry standard by the time it hits the streets this summer. Over the span of few short years, Ford’s next-generation Police Intercepters have gone from unproven newcomers to the most popular police vehicles in America.
Taking the reins from the iconic Crown Victoria-based Interceptor in 2011, the midsize Taurus sedan and Explorer SUV-based models have proven to be more than capable cars for the Thin Blue Line. With the new and improved 2016 Police Interceptor, the SUV should become even more popular with departments across the country. Get a good first look at the 2016 Ford Police Interceptor — we’ll be seeing a lot more of them very soon.
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