That could explain why Ford rushed out a press release as soon as it got the results from the Michigan State Police for the 2013 Ford Police Interceptor. (But for some reason it chose not to share exact numbers.) It wants the all-important fleet buyers to know Ford has delivered a worthy successor to the Ford Crown Victoria, which was the gold standard for police pursuit vehicles for decades and had mostly been built on the same durable Panther Platform, with minor revisions, for 22 years.
The pursuit-rated 2013 Ford Police Interceptors come standard with all-wheel-drive. The Sedan is available with a 3.5-liter Ti-VCT flex-fuel V6 or 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. The Utility has 3.7-liter Ti-VCT flex-fuel V6 engine producing 300 hp. Front-wheel-drive configuration is optional.
The Ford Police Interceptor Utility excelled in 0-60 acceleration, braking, and handling over the two day testing. Ford did not say what those numbers were. However, it appears to have defeated the Chevrolet Caprice police performance vehicle, which the previous generation 2011 model did not do in September 2010, according to an article at MotorAuthority.com.
Rigorous testing was conducted to ensure the new Police Interceptors could handle the demands of around-the-clock law enforcement duty. In addition to the certification testing designed by the Michigan State Police, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will conduct its vehicle tests in November to further evaluate the durability and capability of police vehicles under the most extreme conditions.
As Don Bain pointed out in a recent article, Ford's final Crown Victoria has rolled off the line, "Since the Chevrolet Caprice was discontinued in 1996, Ford’s Crown Victoria held a near-monopoly as a police pursuit vehicle in North America. The Panther platform is was based on has seen two revisions since it debuted in 1979." In recent years, the Dodge Charger was adding some competition back into the mix.
After some bad publicity with rear-end collisions that incinerated law enforcement personnel in the late '90s, Ford is working hard to offer the highest level of protection for this new Ford Police Interceptors. The Ford Police Interceptors are the only vehicles certified to pass 75 mph rear collisions. That's reassuring to highway patrol officers who are most often struck at vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed.
Additionally, ballistic door panels to protect from gunshots are available on the driver or passenger doors. Safety cell construction helps direct the force of a collision around the occupant compartment. Crumple zones help absorb and dissipate the energy of a crash. Crashes are still the leading cause of death for law enforcement personnel in the United States.
The V6 powertrain portfolio of engines on the Police Interceptors provides the fuel efficiency improvement to assist government agencies in reducing their operating costs. More importantly, the smaller-displacement engines provide increased performance and capability when compared to the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (CVPI) 4.6-liter V8. The highly efficient 3.5-liter V6 engine delivers at least 280 horsepower in the Sedan. An all-new EcoBoost V6 twin-turbocharged, direct-injection engine is also available producing 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque.
Managing increased power, requires more stopping power. New 18-inch five-spoke steel wheels and tires are designed to work in concert with the new brake system for improved capability. Additional unique components include a larger heavy-duty alternator and larger radiator. A honeycomb grille provides increased airflow throughout the vehicle to improve cooling and enhance operation.
The good news is fleet buyers will be able to buy American when they buy the new Ford Police Interceptor Vehicles. They will be built at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant. Somehow it just seems fitting that something this tough would come from a great Midwest city like Chicago.