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A new era in police vehicles begins at Ford

Ford’s new Police Interceptor replaces the Crown Vic as its car for law enforcement

By NAFA Fleet Management Association

Ford’s Crown Victoria has dominated the landscape of law enforcement in North America, but its run is about to end. The Crown Vic will cease production sometime in late 2011 and be replaced with the new Ford Police Interceptor. Thankfully, the new Police Interceptor will be immediately offered without any interruptions and is expected to exceed the durability, safety, performance, and fuel economy of the vehicle it’s replacing. In addition, Ford is introducing a Police Interceptor utility vehicle to provide fleets with a choice of vehicles to meet their needs.

“Police nationwide asked for a new kind of weapon in the battle for public safety, and Ford is answering the call with a purpose-built vehicle – engineered and built in America – that’s as dynamic as it is durable,” said Mark Fields, Executive Vice President, Ford Motor Company, and President of The Americas. Fields was one of three Keynote Speakers at NAFA’s 2010 Institute & Expo in Detroit where attendees were able to get a sneak peek at the new Police Interceptor.

To develop the new Police Interceptor, Ford engineers worked hand-in-hand with law enforcement professionals on Ford’s Police Advisory Board who provided valuable input on key vehicle attributes such as safety, performance, durability, driver comfort, and functionality.

“This vehicle is pursuit ready,” said Carl Widmann, Vehicle Engineering Manager for Ford. “It’s no nonsense, through and through.”

Some of the key changes include:

Safety — The Police Interceptor was engineered to pass 75-mph rear-end crash testing and features Ford’s Safety Canopy ® side-curtain air bag rollover protection system to help protect front and rear outboard passengers in both rollover and side-impact crashes. The multiple side-curtain air bags use Ford’s unique Roll Fold technology to help them slip between the occupant and the side window.

A Move To V-6 Without A Loss Of Power — The new Police Interceptor is part of a V-6 lineup that Ford says will perform equal to or better than V-8 engines. The lineup comes with two powertrain options which allow police departments to choose whichever best meets their patrol requirements. One option is a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that delivers at least 263 horsepower and E85 compatibility that is 25 percent more efficient than the 4.6 Single Overhead Cam (SOHC) V-8 offered in the current Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. The other option is an all-new 3.5-liter EcoBoost ™ V-6 twin-turbocharged, direct-injection engine that will deliver at least 365 horsepower and 350 foot-pounds of torque across a broad rpm range.

EcoBoost brings municipalities and police fleet administrators an ultra high-performance, yet environmentally friendly, police pursuit vehicle. It offers performance that bests V-8 powered police cruisers with fuel economy and CO2 emissions comparable to that of the standard V-6.

Redesigned Inside And Out — Some of the changes to the Police Interceptor include brakes that have been increased in size and performance; a purpose-built cooling package featuring a heavy-duty alternator and larger radiator; a honeycomb grill designed to work in harmony with the interior components to provide more air flow throughout the vehicle; and standard 18-inch steel wheels that are vented and designed to work in concert with the enhanced brake system.

Roughly 90 percent of the interior has been redesigned to meet the needs of the police. 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 vehicle’s second row features vinyl seats which are specially sculpted and set back to improve second-row space and maximize legroom. Meanwhile, the back door hinges have been modified to open up an additional 10 degrees versus traditional rear doors.

In addition, the vehicle is equipped with a column shift specifically designed so the console area is free for the ever-increasing amount of aftermarket police equipment necessary for officers to do their jobs.

Additional features of the Police Interceptor include:

BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) — The system uses two radar sensors located in the rear quarter panels to detect vehicles in the surrounding lanes. If a vehicle enters the driver’s blind-spot zones, the system alerts the driver with a warning light in the side-view mirror.

Cross Traffic Alert— This system uses the existing BLIS radar modules to sense oncoming traffic when slowly backing out of a parking spot. The system only functions while the vehicle is in reverse and warns when cross-traffic appears within three car-widths.

Rear View Camera System — When the vehicle is in rear camera mode, a color image with guidance markers on the rear view mirror assists the driver in backing up.

Reverse Sensing System — An audible tone alerts the driver to certain objects up to 6-feet behind the vehicle.

Standard AdvanceTrac ® ESC (electronic stability control) — This helps maintain the intended path by measuring side-to-side yaw, or skidding, by the vehicle’s speed, throttle position, and steering wheel angle. When wheel slip is sensed, AdvanceTrac reduces engine torque and applies selected brakes.

Ford SYNC® — This hands-free system has the potential to be customized and remapped to work specifically with police aftermarket equipment such as lights and sirens, allowing officers to focus on the task at hand.

“Ford remains committed to leading the police vehicle market, and our new Police Interceptor demonstrates how much engineering and innovation we’re willing to invest to address the unique needs of those who protect and serve communities throughout America,” added Fields.

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