Ford Pursues the Perfect Police Interceptor

Cops will love this Chicago debut.

by on Feb.12, 2015

Keegan, a K9 officer, helped Ford unveil the automaker's new Police Interceptor unit today.

Ford has gone to the dogs! Failing to remember the sage advice attributed — falsely — to W.C. Fields, “Never work with children or animals,” Ford clearly forgot the second half of the famous line in Chicago today when it enlisted the assistance of Keegan, a Belgian, to pull the cover off its new police interceptor model.

Fortunately, Ford had little to worry about in regard to the well-trained Belgian, who performed the task right on cue and even took the time to pose with the new model afterward.

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Since its introduction three years ago, the Interceptor has become the top-selling law enforcement vehicle in the country. But Ford is responding to requests to make it an even more effective tool for crime fighters, a number of changes based on recommendations from a 25-member Police Advisory Board.

“Our Police Interceptor Utility is the best-selling police vehicle in America because we have a unique relationship with our customers,” said Jonathan Honeycutt, Ford’s North American marketing manager for Police Vehicles. “By listening to the Ford Police Advisory Board, we have engineered a vehicle that officers love.”

Keegan, a K9 officer, helped Ford unveil the automaker's new Police Interceptor unit today.

A heavily modified version of the familiar Ford Explorer, the Interceptor was brought to market as a modern day replacement for the long-in-the-tooth Crown Victoria sedan that was a traditional favorite in the law enforcement community. It added plenty of additional space and the go-anywhere capabilities of all-wheel-drive to the equation – a formula that has helped the Police Interceptor capture 55% of its unique market niche.

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Visually, the updated SUV gets a new front and rear design, including new headlamps. There’s a new instrument panel and an updated electrical system to handle the increasingly loads police place on the vehicle with all their high-tech crime fighting gear – such as video cameras designed to record traffic stops and other activities.

Ford debuted its new police interceptor in Chicago.

There’s also a new system designed to protect officers from a potential ambush – such as the attack on two of New York City’s finest who were gunned down last month while sitting in their patrol car. The optional Surveillance Mode technology warns the driver when someone approaches the vehicle from the rear. It automatically raises the windows and locks the doors.

A new rearview camera operates much like those found in many civilian vehicles, but it can also provide the driver a way to watch what’s happening by displaying its image in the rearview mirror.

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The new Interceptor has been updated with new security features and a beefed-up electrical system.

Two powertrain packages are available: a base 3.7-liter V-6 making 304 horsepower and 279 pound-feet of torque, and an optional, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 that bumps things up to 365-hp and 350 lb-ft. All-wheel-drive is a standard feature on the Police Interceptor Utility.

One of the more intriguing features is a 6-speed automatic transmission that monitors driver behavior, automatically switching from a fuel-saving eco operation to Pursuit Mode, based on brake line pressure, deceleration and lateral acceleration rates. That means more aggressive shifting but it also allows for the sort of maneuvers that make fun viewing on TV cop shows — a reverse J-turn, Ford explains, “where a reversing vehicle is spun 180 degrees and continues, face forward, without changing direction of travel.”

“From the heavy-duty suspension and powertrain offerings, to the unique steering and transmission calibrations, Ford Police Interceptor Utility is built to provide any law enforcement agency a vehicle ready to meet extremely demanding needs,” said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer for the new Police Interceptor Utility.

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The entire vehicle has been beefed up to handle aggressive maneuvers and the bumps and crashes a pursuit might bring. Even the tires, notes Ford, are designed to handle extreme chases and still handle the 50,000 miles a year some police departments clock on each vehicle.


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7 Responses to “Ford Pursues the Perfect Police Interceptor”

  1. Jorge says:

    These vehicles take a Helleva pounding in normal service so they do require premium HD components all around. Also making them comfortable for 8 hour or longer shifts is important to police. All of the newer vehicles also have onboard computer systems for instant license and other data access so electrical demands are high. It will be interesting to see how the engines hold up long term under high speed pursuits.

  2. nobsartist says:

    Since nobody buys their crappy full size cars, they might as well force the taxpayers to buy them.

  3. Will a car like this be available to the general public? If yes, what would be approx. cost? Sounds like a vehicle that will really hold up.

    • Paul A. Eisenstein says:


      This is specifically designed for police use, but it is largely based on the Ford Explorer.

      Paul A. Eisenstein

  4. Jorge says:

    They don’t sell these models to the public. The price is subsidized by other auto sales as the true cost would be far more than most would pay for these vehicles.

  5. John Wood says:

    Just wait 4 years and buy them at auction

  6. MAC says:

    We use these as our standard sheriff deputy vehicles in central CA. Much more room to carry all the gear and the deputies have better visibility because they sit up higher – one advantage all SUV drivers enjoy. These are excellent successors to the crown Vic.