The next time youâ€™re pulled over for speeding, you might be surprised by what you see in the rearview. Ford recently unveiled its replacement for the Crown-Victoria-based Police Interceptor — and itâ€™s a Taurus.
â€œFord first introduced its police package in 1950 and today the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is the industry leader,â€ explains Jalopnik. â€œThe automaker’s dominated the streets to the point that over the last five years, Ford’s controlled more than 70% of the patrol cars sold. â€¦ Unfortunately, the Crown Vic’s Panther-platform’s getting a little long in the tooth â€” it hasn’t seen a redesign in over 15 years.â€
So out goes the Crown Vic and in comes the Taurus. â€œTo develop the all-new Police Interceptor, Ford engineers worked hand-in-hand with Fordâ€™s Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals, which provided input on key vehicle attributes such as safety, performance, durability, driver comfort and functionality,â€ writes Ford.
While the new Police Interceptor is based on the 2010 Ford Taurus, the changes are significant.
According to Cars.com, â€œPolice departments across the country wonâ€™t be piloting just any Taurus off dealership lots. Ford says approximately 90 percent of the interior has been redesigned for police use.â€ Unique features include front seats with anti-stab plates to protect officers from violent criminals and vinyl rear seats to make cleaning up after messy ones easier.
Thatâ€™s not all. USA Today reports: â€œThe Taurus-based model will keep the Police Interceptor name but offer just two 3.5-liter V-6 engines, no big V-8s, as in the Crown Vic. Ford boasts that the standard version will be 25% more fuel efficient than the current standard V-8. And the version with two turbochargers, what Ford calls EcoBoost, will deliver 365 horsepower, 115 more than the standard Crown Vic.â€ The 365-horsepower V6 is the same found in the performance-tuned Taurus SHO. An optional all-wheel drive system will also be available.
The result is a better-performing police car. â€œFordâ€™s new police car can endure a rear-end crash at 75 m.p.h., easily jump curbs and accelerate twice as fast as Ford’s outgoing iconic Crown Victoria Police Interceptor,â€ says the Detroit Free Press.
However, the competition is tough. â€œThe Taurus-based cop car will have to compete against the Dodge Charger cruiser, which looks good and is plenty fast with the available Hemi, and the Chevrolet Caprice, another rear-driver which is pretty much a Pontiac G8 in all but name (and civilian availability),â€ writes Edmunds.
Ford will cease production on the old Police Interceptor in late 2011 and begin introducing the new Taurus-based model in 2012.
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