• Sep 1st 2010 at 12:01AM
  • 54
Ford Police Interceptor Utility – Click above for high-res image gallery

When Ford took the wraps off of its Taurus-based Police Interceptor sedan earlier this year, we were told that a second, utility-oriented police pursuit vehicle would be coming down the pipeline. Enter the Police Interceptor Utility, based off the 2011 Explorer crossover. A Flex-styled paddy wagon would have been cool, but the Explorer's higher ground clearance makes it more versatile for law enforcement officials who require all-terrain capability.

Unlike the sedan, which will be available with two different powertrains, the Explorer Interceptor only comes with Ford's 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6, delivering "at least 280" horsepower and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Both front- and all-wheel-drive configurations are available, and it appears that the Explorer's terrain management system will not be offered on the Police Interceptor. The latest host of driver aids like curve control and Ford's AdvanceTrac Roll Stability Control are standard on the Interceptor Utility, as are larger brakes, a tougher suspension and 18-inch steel wheels.

Ford Explorer Police Interceptor UtilityInside, new seats have been fitted up front with reductions in side bolstering to accommodate an officer's utility belt, and the gear shifter is now mounted on the column in order to provide space for computer equipment in the center console. Much like the Taurus Interceptor, Ford specifically designed the spacing between the seats to ensure that existing police equipment can be carried over to the new vehicles without issue. Things aren't exactly luxurious in the rear seats (duh), but occupants out back do get their own climate control system (Ford says this is ideal for K9 units) as well as stab plates in the front seat backs to keep the driver and passenger safe.

Ford has also gone the extra step to rework some of the Explorer's interior functions to better suit police needs. The steering wheel buttons, for example, are remappable and can be programmed to operate a host of auxiliary functions (lights, sirens, etc.). What's more, Ford's SYNC system is on hand and can be used to voice-activate the different police communication and audio equipment.

Don't expect to see the Police Interceptor Utility out on the road until 2012 at the earliest. Ford says that production will begin in late 2011 alongside the sedan at the automaker's Chicago assembly plant. For now, check out our high-res galleries of both live and official images, and follow the jump for the presser.

Live photos Copyright ©2010 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

[Source: Ford]
Show full PR text

• Ford's new Police Interceptor utility is designed to complement the sedan introduced earlier this year and give law enforcement agencies a comprehensive choice for pursuit vehicles

• The purpose-built sedan and utility Police Interceptors will deliver at least 20 percent better fuel economy than the current Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

• Ford's utility and sedan Police Interceptors will debut simultaneously when production of the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor ceases in late 2011

CHICAGO, Sept. 1, 2010 – Ford Motor Company today revealed its newest pursuit-rated vehicle – Ford's first-ever specially designed Police Interceptor utility built for the rigors of police work.

The new vehicle is designed to complement Ford's all-new Police Interceptor sedan, which was introduced earlier this year. Combined, the two vehicles provide law enforcement agencies the ultimate in versatility and choice, something no other police vehicle on the road today can match.

"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, the police vehicle market leader for 15 years, developed both Police Interceptors to allow departments to maximize versatility without sacrificing quality. Both vehicles will debut simultaneously and be offered without interruption when production of the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor ends in late 2011.

Meeting a spectrum of needs

With the introduction of its newest Police Interceptor, Ford now provides a complete package of performance and capability designed to meet the diverse and ever-increasing needs of law enforcement agencies across the U.S.

Ford's new Police Interceptor utility vehicle is equipped with the highly efficient 3.5-liter V6 engine. This Ti-VCT engine, delivering at least 280 horsepower and E85 compatibility, is mated to a unique 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, providing off-road capability teamed with a multipurpose cargo area specially calibrated for loads up to 800 pounds.

Both the sedan and utility are rated for the severe-duty cycle that police professionals undertake on a daily basis 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.

Police input key to development

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 both the sedan and utility versions of the Police Interceptor allows Ford to deliver a complete, diverse and efficient solution to all of law enforcements' 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."

Keeping it safe

Like the sedan, the utility version of the Police Interceptor puts a priority on safety. Continuing Ford's safety leadership includes engineering both Police Interceptors to pass 75-mph rear-end crash testing. Currently, the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is the only pursuit sedan to meet this test.

The Police Interceptor utility vehicle features Ford's exclusive 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.

Staying in control

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 and help drivers follow their intended path.

Rigorously tested, police-tuned

Just like its sedan partner, Ford's Police Interceptor utility vehicle has been put through its paces, undergoing a battery of torture tests to ensure its individual components can hold up to rigorous driving. Certification testing designed by the Michigan State Police and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department proved out the durability and capability of the vehicle through a variety of punishing tracks.

To make sure the utility vehicle can take the heat – quite literally – the AWD drivetrain is equipped with a water-cooled power transfer unit that guarantees capability in all conditions. Across the board, 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.

Even so, the utility vehicle is light, precise and easy to handle. "Officers won't need any special training to drive this," said Carl Widmann, vehicle engineering manager. "The advanced technologies and similar driving dynamics of Ford's new Police Interceptors provide officers the flexibility, convenience and ease of driving utility or sedan police vehicles."

Functional, inside and out

Inside, the functionality continues, with the vehicle's interior package uniquely 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.

The second row features a vinyl, easy-to-clean bench seat that folds flat for versatility. 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.
Both Ford Police Interceptors will be manufactured at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      "new seats have been fitted up front with reductions in side bolstering to accommodate an officer's utility belt" or his donut induced waist!
      • 4 Years Ago
      This might be good for urban police departments.
      • 4 Years Ago
      For comparison's sake:

      2011 Explorer -- 4500+ pounds, 290+hp (15.5 lb/hp)

      2011 Tahoe -- 5500+ pounds, 320hp (17.2 lb/hp)

      Of course, the usefulness of this info is limited...
        • 4 Years Ago
        The internet.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually I found it published on AOL as 4,578 pounds for the 2011 Explorer.

        I didn't think it was really necessary to spoon feed it to you, Torr, but I guess I was wrong.
        • 4 Years Ago

        Wow........ thanks. Any other info from there that you would like to share?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Where did you get the weight spec on the Explorer?
        • 4 Years Ago
        1 torr = 133.322368 pascals
        • 4 Years Ago
        Just as I thought, you can't give a source. And as you stated in your original post, the usefulness of your info is limited.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I really wish Ford developed a new full size RWD platform to continue building crown vics on; sadly it really is the last of a breed.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So cool!
      • 4 Years Ago
      This will be the death of Ford in the police vehicle market. Cops who live in the Northeast US probably love their FWD Impalas, and will definately love this, but even those agencies are not 100% FWD vehicle fleets, they have a handful of Chargers and Vics on hand as well as SUV's.
      I see this thing in a ritzy suburb police color, but not working for a state patrol.
      If Ford wanted to retain it's standing at the top, they should have moved the Vic's assembly plant to the US, and offered it with a variety of engine and transmission options, such as a 250 hp V-6 with a four speed auto transmission for city departments, all the way to a 400 hp V-10 with a six speed automatic racing transmission for highway units.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Nearly all the cop cars here in Massachusetts are Crown Vics, very rare to see an Impala on police duty. Ford is messing up with this one.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Another FWD police vehicle from Ford. Well, they're definitely putting a stake in the ground. They're either going to succeed in changing a lot of minds or put themselves out of the police vehicle market.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @John H

        The Crown Vic interceptor didn't exactly have blazing acceleration. So who cares what they call it? How fast do their cars have to be? Most departments aren't getting in 100+mph high speed chases on a daily basis and radios and spike strips are more useful than having a really fast patrol car. Besides, if a dept feels the need to have fast vehicles they have plenty of options with the Hemi Charger, upcoming Caprice, and Taurus Interceptor with the ecoboost.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What Ford is trying to do is run itself right out of the municiple car market...

        Mr. Mulally, what are you thinking? How many successful FWD -Interceptor platforms are out there? The current Impala isn't even a blip on the radar. Dodge tried it with their Intrepid, and got laughed all the way back to the nearest delearship. Ford tried it in the late eighties with the first-gen Taurus "interceptor", which, by the way, got "intercep-TED" by poor sales.

        But your company keeps plugging ahead with this madness. Never mind that the Panther Platform Crown Vic is considered one of the greatest police vehicles of all time, or that it holds literally 85% of the market. You say its old & underpowered? Shoehorn the 2004 SVT Cobra 4.6 (thats 396 bhp) under the hood and try to outrun THAT. (The gas tank thing was overblown...I'd explode into a fireball, too, if somebody rear-ended me doing 55 mph while I'm partially blocking two lanes)

        This will be the greatest marketshare drop in history. Everybody start looking out for Chargers with lightbars in your rearview.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I like that they call an overweight 280-hp FWD station wagon a "Interceptor".

        Short of being able to block the road with its massive bulk, that pig won't be intercepting any modern cars that I can think of.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The fact that Ford's current police offerings were going to be FWD was common knowledge and very old news. Not like we didn't know this was coming.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The old Taurus, Intrepid and Impala were not successful for a wide variety of reasons. FWD was the least of their issues. They were all too small, weak engines, none of them were actually designed to serve as proper police vehicles, i.e. poor dash layout for additional police equipment, poor front seats, zero legroom in rear w/ splitter in place...

        An important factor for police departments in determining a new fleet is how much of their existing equipment can be carried over into the new vehicles. Things like front/rear divider, light rails, push bars, gun mounts. Ford has been smart in designing the new vehicle to accept the old Crown Vic equipment. None of that stuff is cheap and a department can save a fortune by not having to buy them every time they replace their cruisers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I feel safer already.

        No regarding Ford's new addition to the police line-up, I would agree that they are moving towards FWD and rather RWD. But then again, GM had both the Chevrolet Tahoe (RWD) and Impala (FWD), and still got by.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @spincycle - What else would Ford use? The Vic is gone, and the Mustang certainly wasn't going to fit the bill (since it's the only RWD car in their lineup). At best Ford would have offered AWD variants from their lineup (which they did, as an option), though they're still FWD based platforms. Simple logic on that one.....

        The news in this blog post is simply the detailed specs on the car and photos of the (assumed) final product.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I guess I missed that day in class when they told us all that.
        • 4 Years Ago
        or neither...

        but definitely..... something.........

        • 4 Years Ago
        I think everyone is going to have to give up remembering which headlights are what:

        Police fitout:
        Mustang - Speical Order Hot Pursuit

        Government fitout:
        E-Series Van
        F-Series Trucks

        GM -

        Police fitout:
        Tahoe (2wd)
        Camaro - Special Order Hot Pursuit

        Governement fitout:
        Tahoe (4wd)
        Express Van
        GMC Trucks

        Chrysler wants a chunk, so I assume:


        Government Fitout:
        Ram Trucks

        Carbon Motors:
        E7 - if it ever compete with the competition...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like the Australian Territory much better than this. That's the one Ford should have offered instead.

      But, like the Falcon, Ford tends to overlook the good stuff just to keep the UAW goons happy.

      Too bad.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why dont they use the V8 falcon from Aussie or the Territory 4WD much better than the US designed crap.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well, this combination certainly keeps Ford in the dialectical game of Monarch Programming. The establishment must constantly seek out creative ways to generate capital, and what better way than through Trauma-Based Mind Control. Just keep telling the ones who are trading their life force to those who master the system of the sciences, that "powerful police intercepters are needed to combat crime and enhance security", and the mob will never suspect that it is this very manipulation of science and technology that is at the heart of all crime, and the increased need for security. You keep on wanting, and they - your handlers - will keep on turning it into capital. If you do not want the police cruiser, than the other choice is the Explorer model. This is why you have two branches of government, two main restaurant chains [McDonald's and Burger King], two warring softdrink manufacturers, et cetera; one to love and the other to hate. This manipulation of opposing mentalities or perspectives is what made SUN TZU (500 BC) the most important battle strategist of all time, and the sole reason why his books are "must reads" for all developing military officers, corporatist strategists, and Presidents.

      [George W. Bush while talking to the media one day, spoke of their not needing to follow the troops in Iraq, because it would "endanger the troops". And he added, "AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE SUN TZU TO FIGURE THAT ONE OUT!"]
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well I guess it's a gamble, lets see how it plays out.

      Also Impalas were never meant to be heavy duty police vehicles, I think rather just simple patrol vehicles which for the most part is all departments will need. The way I look at it, ID rather Have Tahoe's, Impalas, and Caprices, and even Chargers in my department rather a new Taurus or explorer, and the expedition is guaranteed to be phased out just like the Vics. For the most part I'm sure they will be fine, but there are plenty of departments who will prefer or need a better suited and stronger police vehicle. Ford is basically handing over the municipal sales to Chevy for the most part and Dodge.Time will tell how it does.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yeah, I don't get it - why are the Police getting a version with a column shifter, and the mortals have to accept a big fat stick in a huge middle console? Waste of space!
    • Load More Comments