Ford’s police fleet has a new recruit.
The 2016 Police Interceptor Utility bows at the Chicago Auto Show this week featuring fresh looks and some nifty new tech. The Explorer-based cruiser has firmly grasped the mantle handed to it by the classic Crown Victoria Interceptor since it went on sale in 2012, and now accounts for over half of the police cars sold in the USA, outselling even Ford’s own Taurus-based Police Interceptor Sedan by a 2 to 1 margin.
The new model gets updated front and rear bodywork and lights, plus a freshened interior design that includes plenty of police-specific equipment like utility belt-friendly seats and an interior dome light that can be switched from white to red for better night vision. There’s also an optional surveillance system that can detect potential bad guys sneaking up on the vehicle from the rear like and alert the passengers while automatically closing the windows and locking the doors. It's almost like having RoboCop on board.
All-wheel-drive is standard, and departments can order the Police Interceptor Utility with either a 304 hp 3.7-liter V6 for regular duty, or a 365 hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 if they need to tow or see a lot of high speed action in their precinct. In either case, they’re both pursuit-rated and the vehicles automatically switch into a special Pursuit Mode if they sense that they’re being driven hard, which changes the transmission logic to stay in gear during maneuvers and optimizes the all-wheel-drive system to facilitate action-movie style J-turns.
Look for one approaching in your rearview mirror this summer, and please pull over when you do.