New 2020 Ford Explorer hybrid SUV teased first as a cop car

Prepare to start memorizing another set of headlights as the police are getting another vehicle option next year. Ford announced Tuesday that its next-generation Police Interceptor Utility—Ford-speak for "cop car"—will come standard with a hybrid powertrain.

With the new police powertrain, Ford confirmed that the next-generation Explorer, on which the Police Interceptor Utility is based, will get a battery boost too. The civilian Explorer should go on sale sometime next year. Ford didn't specify much about the powertrain, only that it may manage up to 24 mpg combined in the Interceptor Utility, which is a 40 percent improvement over the current version.

The two teaser images are also the first clear look at the next-generation Ford Explorer. We've seen the spy shots, and it covered with a sheet, but this is our first chance to look at it, even if it is in the shadows.

All-New Ford Police Interceptor Utility is purpose-built for law enforcement with a standard hybrid powertrain that doesn’t compromise interior space, improves pursuit performance and aims to lower fuel costs, and it comes with standard all-wheel drive.

All-New Ford Police Interceptor Utility is purpose-built for law enforcement with a standard hybrid powertrain that doesn’t compromise interior space, improves pursuit performance and aims to lower fuel costs, and it comes with standard all-wheel drive. (Ford)

The overall profile seems to be the same Range Rover Sport-esque look we've come to know over the last few years, but refined. The LED taillights have a similar shape as the current model's, but the front LED headlights appear to be slimmer, slightly more swept back, and feature LED daytime running lights on the top.

Ride height and ground clearance appear to be the same as the current Explorer, so don't expect a truck-like Jeep Grand Cherokee competitor to return, but an off-road oriented FX4 model might be in the cards given how the new full-size Expedition is doing.

Ford said the new Police Interceptor Utility's hybrid packaging won't compromise interior space, and the crossover SUV will come standard with all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive instead of four-wheel drive is important to note, as there was hopes of a true four-wheel-system returning with this next-gen Explorer given its new rear-wheel-drive based platform.

For those thinking of tangling with the next-gen Police Interceptor, know this: Ford says it can take a rear impact of up to 75 mph.

When it arrives next year the new Police Interceptor will join the F-150 and Expedition Interceptors in the Blue Oval's police lineup.