The Dodge Durango Pursuit police vehicle is ready to chase some bad guys

Dodge is gearing up to chase Ford with its new Durango Pursuit police vehicle.

It’s an upgrade of the existing Durango Special Services vehicle offered to law enforcement, but rated for high speed use like the top-selling Ford Explorer-based Interceptor Utility.

Dodge credits a strong, unofficial performance at the Michigan State Police’s benchmark vehicle test event last year for earning the model a greenlight.

The high performance SUV is equipped with a 360 hp 5.7-liter Hemi V8, all-wheel-drive and a two-speed transfer case for improved off-road capability. It also gets beefed up cooling and electrical systems to help it handled extra equipment required for police duty, along with a set of heavy duty brakes.

The Durango also features Dodge’s ParkSense alert system that uses the parking sensors to warn its occupants if someone is sneaking up behind the vehicle, and a tri-zone climate control that Dodge is marketing as a benefit for K-9 unit use.

Dodge is clearly hoping to leverage the popularity of its Charger Pursuit vehicle, which is the best selling sedan among police departments, as it looks to take a chunk out of the Ford Interceptor Utility's 50 percent-plus market share.

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com's Automotive Editor. Follow him on Twitter @garygastelu