Manufacturers Debut Next Generation of Police Cars

Increased comfort and convenience, improved vehicle ingress and egress, advanced technology, and improved officer safety mark the next generation of police cars.
Published: June 23, 2010

We are embarking upon a new age in police vehicles in the United States. New technologies, the discontinuation of old models, and subsequent introduction of new vehicles mean many law enforcement agencies across the country will be driving new makes and models of police vehicles.

In addition to new technologies, the inclusion of advanced safety features, added comfort and convenience, and a level of fuel efficiency never before seen in the market represent an opportunity for police departments to realize additional benefits from today’s vehicles.

Some of the notable new police vehicles are highlighted.

Police Interceptor Replaces Ford’s Crown Victoria

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The Ford Crown Victoria had a long run as the automaker’s standard police cruiser. Vehicle production will cease next year and in its place will be the new Ford Police Interceptor.

Ford said its new cruiser will save taxpayer money because it achieves 25-percent better fuel economy than the Crown Victoria, which gets 15 mpg city/23 highway.

The Police Interceptor model will be available with the standard 3.5L 263 hp DOHC V-6, or departments can choose an AWD EcoBoost 3.5L twin turbo model with 365 hp. Either choice is more powerful and more efficient than the outgoing V-8-powered Crown Vic, according to the manufacturer.
One notable feature will be a high-capacity, 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with EcoBoost (AWD only). All standard V-6 Police Interceptor models will offer front-wheel drive.

Safety is a major focus of the new Police Interceptor. The fuel tank is located under the back seat, utilizing the same saddle-bag tank arrangement found in the sporty Ford Mustang. The Police Interceptor also adheres to 75-mph rear-end crash testing conducted by the Detroit-headquartered manufacturer.

Larger brakes were also added to reduce everyday wear and tear. The wheels comprise 18-inch stamped steel.

One area in which Ford excelled in the past is the Crown Victoria’s durability. Ford hopes to replicate and improve on that reputation with the new Police Interceptor. To ensure the vehicle can handle the stressful nature of law enforcement work, it was put through difficult road tests to measure drivetrain, suspension components, and chassis performance.

A number of upgrades, options, and features have been added to the Police Interceptor to improve efficiencies and conveniences. A cooling package includes a larger radiator and alternator that can power the in-car ­electronics required by law ­enforcement.

The interior of the Ford Police Interceptor was completely reworked to focus on comfort and convenience. For example, the  shifter was moved from the console to the column. Seats have been redesigned as well; front seat bolsters are more ergonomic to ease entry and exit, and plates were added to seatbacks to prevent a suspect from stabbing an officer from the back seat.

The rear seat was also redesigned to increase room for a cuffed suspect, and rear doors open an additional 10 degrees to improve ingress and egress capabilities.

Police officers can also expect a significant number of new technological advances in the Police Interceptor, including radar-based monitoring systems that alert drivers of cross traffic and blind spot situations and objects. A reverse sensing system was added to enhance safety. An optional rear view camera system and ballistic door inserts are available to ­protect against gunfire.

AWD offers increased confidence with better vehicle dynamics and handling, according to Ford.

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Strategy & Planning Series