Okay, so the location of the plant likely made the CPD's vehicle of choice a foregone conclusion, but the latest PI models may also help the department in terms of its fuel expenditures. With an expected fuel economy gain of 25 percent compared to the now-defunct Crown Victoria, and gas prices expected to get much uglier than they already are, the more efficient Interceptor's arrival is nothing if not timely.
Some municipalities worry that the new Police Interceptors won't match the old Panther-platform cars' toughness when it comes to handling the rigors of police use, but Ford counters that its new PI models, a Taurus-based sedan and Explorer-based utility variant, are designed specifically for police work.
The automaker worked with the LAPD and and Michigan State Police to certify the the new vehicles for patrol duty. Departments can choose from a normally aspirated 263-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 or the turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5 with 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque.
Hit the jump to read over the Ford press release.
- The city of Chicago will buy 500 Ford Police Interceptor sedans and utility vehicles, the largest commitment to date for the all-new vehicle
- Production of Police Interceptors added 230 jobs at the Torrence Avenue plant; additional manufacturing and support jobs are expected
- Ford's all-new, purpose-built Police Interceptor began rolling off the line at Chicago Assembly in January, building on 15 years of leadership in law enforcement vehicles
- Ford's Police Interceptor vehicles can save law enforcement agencies across the country millions of dollars a year in fuel costs
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today the city will buy 500 Police Interceptor sedans and utility vehicles, the largest commitment to date for the all-new vehicles.
"We are pleased and proud Chicago has decided to purchase Ford's Police Interceptor vehicles," said Ken Czubay, vice president of Marketing, Sales and Service. "Ford has been the police pursuit vehicle market leader for 15 years, and we know these all-new vehicles can handle the rigors of police work."
The Police Interceptor sedan and utility vehicles started production at the company's Chicago Assembly Plant last month, adding 230 jobs at the Torrence Avenue plant with additional manufacturing and support jobs expected in the future.
Ford specially designed and engineered an all-new Police Interceptor sedan and utility to handle the rigors of police work, working hand-in-hand with its Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals.
Big cost savings
Ford's all-new Police Interceptor vehicles can save law enforcement agencies across the country millions of dollars a year in fuel costs. For example, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department – the largest in the world – operates a fleet of 6,200 vehicles that patrol an area the size of Connecticut. In 2010, those vehicles drove more than 27 million miles. A fleet-wide 20 percent fuel economy gain would stand to save the department at least $20 million a year with fuel prices hovering near $4 a gallon.
Increased power, enhanced sophistication
Ford's Police Interceptor engine strategy provides a V6 lineup that performs equal to or better than V8 engines. The lineup comes with two powertrain options, allowing police to choose the powerhouse that best meets their patrol requirements.
A highly efficient 3.5-liter V6 engine delivering at least 263 horsepower and E85 compatibility is 25 percent more efficient than the outgoing 4.6-liter single-overhead-cam V8 it is replacing.
In addition, the all-new 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 twin-turbocharged, direct-injection engine will deliver at least 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque across a broad rpm range. EcoBoost brings the first ultra-high-performance yet environmentally friendly police pursuit vehicle. The engine offers performance that bests normally aspirated V8-powered police cruisers, and comparable fuel economy and CO2 emissions to the standard V6.
Rigorously tested, police-tuned
Throughout its development, Ford's new Police Interceptor has been put through the paces, undergoing a battery of torture tests to ensure its individual components can hold up to the rigorous driving styles of police professionals.
Certification testing designed by the Michigan State Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department evaluates the durability and capability of the vehicle through a variety of tests where its systems are pushed to the limits for nearly an hour and a half – far exceeding the demands most patrol cars ever experience.
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. Plus, the standard 18-inch steel wheels are vented, designed to work in concert with the enhanced brake system.
Functional, inside and out
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 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 up another 10 degrees versus traditional rear doors.
The Ford Police Interceptor also is equipped with a column shift specially designed so the console area is free for the ever-increasing amounts of aftermarket police equipment necessary for officers to do their jobs. The new vehicle also features:
BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System): The system uses two radar sensors in the rear quarter panels to detect vehicles in 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
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 Ford-exclusive, hands-free information system has the potential to be customized and remapped to work specifically with police aftermarket equipment such as lights and sirens, allowing officers to focus on the task at hand