The FINANCIAL — Ford is off to a strong start as the next-generation vehicle of choice by law enforcement agencies across the country.
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.
According to Ford Motor Company, 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.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.
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.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.
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.