- New power trains and tech for US patrol cars
- Hybrid all-wheel-drive to save millions on fuel
- Better, safer, ‘officers’ offices’ for American police
DEARBORN, Michigan – Ford believes it’s found the key to continue to supply nearly two-thirds of law enforcement agencies across the United States. More accurately, 65% of US police vehicles.
And the key? ”Vehicles that keep officers safer and save departments – and thus taxpayers – money.”
Leading the drive to maintain that happy position, Ford says, will be a new hybrid variant of the Police Interceptor Utility, one of the brand’s new pursuit-rated cars: along with the PIU will come a Police Responder hybrid sedan, F-150 Police Responder, Expedition SSV, F-150 SSV, Transit PTV, and SSV plug-in hybrid sedan.
Going hybrid, the automaker adds, is ideal for law enforcement with significant fuel and general cost-saving. When a normal police vehicle is stationary its petrol engine has to remain running to power, among other items, emergency lighting, radios, on-board computers and general electrical equipment.
The Police Interceptor Hybrid’s power train, instead, allows the engine to shut down and leave electrical power supply to the car’s lithium-ion hybrid battery.
Stephen Tyler, Ford US police vehicle marketing manager, told The Corner: “Our Police Interceptor Utility’s standard hybrid power train saves fuel yet improves performance; no trade-off in safety or interior passenger/boot space.
“It’s a win-win-win for law enforcement.”
The Interceptor makes possible a 40% cut in fuel bill over the current units: that translates, Ford says, to saving as much as $5700 per vehicle per year. If such savings are applied to every Police Interceptor Utility sold in 2017, it would equate to saving more than 160-million litres of fuel.
Testing by Michigan State Police showed the hybrid Interceptor had the fastest 0-160km/h acceleration, fastest lap times and highest top speed (220km/h) of such vehicles from other automakers.
The only quicker unit was a cousin – the three-litre Ford Police Interceptor Utility. The only current Ford that was quicker was the outgoing 3.7-litre version.
The new Interceptor also, Ford says, has technology to keep officers safer: perimeter threat movement alert, hooked to a rear movement-sensitive camera, that will close windows and lock the car’s doors.
MODEM, TELEMATICS, FOR FAST REPORTING
The all-new Police Interceptor Utility introduces a number of advanced innovations designed for officer safety. Motion trails of the detected threat will appear on the instrument cluster so an officer(s) can monitor the miscreant.
Ford also equips its new Police Interceptor Utility and Police Responder Hybrid Sedan with a modem and two years of complimentary Ford Telematics to enable fast feedback of vehicle usage and location to agency fleet managers.
Purpose-built features include easy access/egress heavy-duty cloth upholstered front seats, each with an anti-stab plate; vinyl rear seats and vinyl flooring for dirty crooks.
All units will have a V6 engine and a 10-speed auto transmission spinning all-wheel, all-weather, drive.
RIVERS AND RAIL TRACKS CAN’T STOP THEM
Ford Police Interceptors are still, their maker says, the only vehicles in the world engineered to meet Ford’s stringent 120km/h rear-impact protection. The federal standard is only 60% of that – but wait, there’s more…
The vehicles have improved cooling, tuned brakes, front-door tethers, and police-purposed steel wheel rims with tyres and hubcaps designed to withstand the rigours of a chase. The vehicle is also tested for 20cm kerb impact, median crossing, 50km/h rail tracks crossing, and half-metre fording ability.corn
Bill Gubing, chief engineer for Police Interceptor Utility and Ford Explorer, told The Corner: “Whether patrolling or standing, the all-new Police Interceptor Utility will change the way officers work. Everything about it was designed to keep officers safe, comfortable and ready for action.”