For years, the famed Ford Police Interceptor was the front-line vehicle of the nation’s police departments. Speeders feared to see the flashing blue lights of the Crown Vic-based Interceptor in their rearviews. They knew that if the Interceptor was bearing down them that pulling over was the best option as there was no way out; usually, a ticket ensued.
Ford F-150 Police Responder One Of Many Tools
Times and tastes change, as do markets, of course. And the old faithful Crown Vic that was the basis of the Interceptor saw its sunset as the automaker retired the venerable machine – indeed, recently, the last Crown Vic pursuit vehicle was retired by a police department.
Even though the Police Interceptor [Crown Vic] is no longer patrolling the highways of the country, it doesn’t mean there aren’t other Ford products ready to use its name and take its place on the road, there are. Ford took its full-sized Explorer SUV, did a whole bunch of suspension and other tweaks, and then transferred the name Police Interceptor to the resulting SUV. The Ford Explorer Police Interceptor isn’t the only police offering, either. The Ford F-150 line has a police pursuit offering, the Police Responder. Bowing to not only changing times, tastes, and markets, Ford has added the Ford F-150 Police Responder option to its pickup line. The Ford F-150 Police Responder is the industry’s “first and only” police pursuit vehicle based on a pickup truck.
It makes sense that Ford would offer the Responder, too. Look at the automaker’s offerings. The cars that once formed the heart of Ford’s lineup are all nearly gone now. There is only one remaining car for 2020, the midsized Ford Fusion. It will drive off into the sunset at the end of the current model year, leaving only pickups and SUVs in dealer lots.
Ford F-150 Police Responder Based On SuperCrew
Based on the Ford F-150 SuperCrew – full-sized cab and four doors – the 4X4 Police Responder is easily up to its task. Powered by the Ford 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, the engine cranks out 375 horsepower and 470 pounds-feet of torque. There are few vehicles on the road that can outrun it. In testing at the Michigan State Police test facility, the Police Responder turned in times of 6.7seconds, 0 to 60, and 16.7 seconds 0 to 100 run. On the test track, the Ford F-150 Police Responder outperformed all other non-Ford utility vehicles and V-6 sedans tested. Ford handles the engine’s output with a 10-speed automatic that takes the engine’s power to the 3.55 electronic-locking differential. The rear axle is a 3.55 electronic-locking unit. The Explorer-based Police Interceptor turned in similar times.
Interestingly, the Ford Police Responder is more than just a pretty face. It can go off-road and get down and dirty with the best of them. The basis of the Ford F-150 Police Responder is the FX4 Off-Road Package. The package consists of the FX4 suspension with an upgraded stabilizer bar for improved braking and handling. The brakes are also police-calibrated with upgraded calipers. The brakes also use a unique pad-friction material.
Ford F-150 Police Responder Like Swiss Army Knife™
The Ford F-150 Police Responder is like the Swiss Army Knife™ of policing vehicles. It provides both on-road and off-road capability, as noted by Stephen Tyler, Ford Police Brand Marketing Manager. “The F-150 Police Responder is an excellent vehicle for law enforcement, providing on-road pursuit performance and off-road capability.” The F-150 Police Responder has room for five and their gear. It is a vehicle that is not only available for patrol duty, but it is also available for times when police work takes officers into the woods such as on significant searches or rescue work.
Since it is a SuperCrew model, it hauls people and gear comfortably. The 5.5-foot pickup bed has a payload of about 3,200 pounds, which means the Responder can easily carry anything and everything a police department could need in the field. “With the largest interior passenger space of any pursuit-rated vehicle,” there’s plenty of room for five and even more for stowage. Between its various storage sites, the Ford F-150 Police Responder has more than 180-cubic-feet of storage available. Tyler noted, “there’s plenty of room” for everyone.
The interior is utilitarian, as you would expect in a police vehicle. The Ford F-150 Police Responder comes with a standard column shifter, vinyl flooring, vinyl rear bench seat, and unique police front seats with no center section (to make room for unique police upfits, such as a police center console. The front seats use durable police-grade cloth upholstery.
Ford F-150 Police Responder Provides Comfort, Protection
The development team made sure that officers would be comfortable on patrol by reducing the bolsters, which means officers can be more comfortable on patrol while wearing their duty belts and body armor. Office protection is also paramount as there are anti-stab plates in the seatbacks.
There’s also more than enough electrical power to provide lighting from a unique overhead console with red/white task lighting. There is an 80-amp power lug under the rear seat, so installers can easily handle other upfits such as lighting, radios, computers, and other on-board electrical equipment. The upgraded 240-amp alternator provides extra power for upfits.
The F-150 Police Responder includes a wide range of technology, including FordPass™ Connect, SYNC® 3 with Nav, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, and much more. FordPass™ Connect with 4GLTE Wi-Fi® can connect up to 10 devices. It is standard on the F-150 XLT, and above. Also, there is a host of technology available, including SYNC® 3 with Nav, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, Pro Trailer Backup Assist, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, and Trailer Tow Monitoring. The instrument panel features an eight-inch LCD capacitive touch screen, with Apple CarPlay.™ and Android Auto.™
Marc Stern has been an auto writer since 1971. It was a position that filled two boyhood dreams: One was that I would write, and two that I write about cars. When I took over as my newspaper’s auto editor, I began a 32-year career as an automotive columnist. There isn’t much on four wheels that I haven’t driven or reviewed. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. Today, I am the Ford F150 reporter for Torque News. I write how-to and help columns for online sites such as Fixya.com and others. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook.