Since the days of the iconic LTD and Crown Victoria, Ford has produced more cop cars than any other brand. Offering impressive horsepower and torque, today’s police vehicles can easily handle high-speed pursuits. In short, don’t try to outrun one of these beasts.
And for the 2021 model year, Ford has outdone itself with the Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid. It outperforms most anything in its path while saving gas along the way.
The new Ford Police Interceptor is a hybrid based on the Explorer SUV
Ford calls the 2021 Ford Police Interceptor Utility a “force to be reckoned with.” But this specially designed SUV is also the first-ever pursuit-rated hybrid police utility vehicle. The Explorer-based unit offers more interior space than previous models, providing 118 cubic feet for passengers and 52 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seating.
A 12.1-inch integrated computer screen, police perimeter alert systems, and blind-spot sensors are a few of the advanced technology features in this impressive SUV, Ford says. Structural reinforcement protects the vehicle and its occupants from up to a 75-mph rear-impact crash. And heavy-duty brakes and suspension, along with underbody deflectors, stabilize the vehicle for routine use and unexpected encounters.
The innovative lithium-ion battery used to power the electric motor uses an advanced integrated heating and cooling system. It can generate enough juice to keep on-board equipment, emergency lights and radios, and laptops running even when the gas engine isn’t operating.
A police-calibrated regenerative braking system charges the hybrid battery every time the brake pedal engages. The electric motor becomes a generator, converting the braking energy into electricity for storage in the expansive battery pack.
The fuel-saving Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid is ideal for ‘idling on the job’
Sure, the Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid is more than capable of handling high-speed chases. But the reality of police work is that cop cars spend most of their time idling or operating at low speeds. Officers’ routine duties, such as traffic control, motorist assistance, and report writing, occur while the vehicle is running. The hybrid unit consumes only 0.2 gallons per hour while idling. That means an estimated savings of $3,500 per year in fuel costs for local departments, Ford claims.
The Interceptor has a naturally aspirated V6 that cranks out 285 hp. It pairs with a 44 hp electric motor, generating 318 hp of total output. This powertrain helps the SUV achieve an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined.
According to Car and Driver, this reliable hybrid “can save 1,276 gallons of fuel per year compared to the 3.7-liter model it replaces.” CD adds that “it accelerates the way a cop car should, and there is no funny business going on between the 10-speed, the electric motor, and the engine; they cooperate for the greater good of hauling ass.”
There’s also an F-150 Police Responder pickup truck
Ford‘s other pursuit-rated police vehicle is the refreshed 2021 F-150 Police Responder. There’s also an F-150 SSV that officers can use for special services, but it lacks pursuit capabilities. These pickup trucks dominate the market, with the only competition coming from special service vehicles like the Chevy Silverado and Ram 1500.
With an improved top speed of 120 mph, the Ford F-150 Responder outperforms other cop cars, with increased capabilities and enhanced towing capacity up to 11,200 pounds. The standard EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 engine harnesses an astonishing 400 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque.
Indeed, MotorTrend warns you should “check the specs on your getaway vehicle before you attempt to run if there’s a Blue Oval under that police truck’s flashing lights.”