Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn Tuesday introduced its Police Interceptor Utility, the industry’s first pursuit-rated hybrid SUV. The SUV offers improved pursuit performance, lower operating costs, and all-wheel drive. The hybrid batteries are placed so they don’t compromise passenger or cargo space.
“We’re committed to electrifying vehicles for all customers, including law enforcement, who need the high performance and low operating costs that Ford’s next-generation hybrids will excel at providing,” says Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president of product development and purchasing at Ford. “Standard all-wheel drive is important because crooks don’t stop when it rains.”
Fuel economy certification isn’t complete, but the vehicle is expected to have an EPA-estimated combined label of at least 24 mpg, an approximately 40 percent improvement over the current 3.7-liter V6. Anticipated fuel economy gains and expected fuel savings from reduced engine idling time are expected to help save law-enforcement customers an estimated $3,200 per vehicle in yearly fuel bills versus the current Police Interceptor Utility.
The new hybrid is expected to accelerate faster and achieve a higher top speed. It also reduces engine idling time to save fuel when the vehicle is stationary by allowing the gas engine to shut off and intermittently run to charge the battery. It also features 75-mph rear impact protection.
Sales of Ford Police Interceptor Utility rose 5 percent in 2018, building on five consecutive years of sales growth and capturing 65 percent of the total U.S. police vehicle market.
The Ford Police Inceptor hybrid will be built at Ford Chicago Assembly plant and upfitted at Ford’s Chicago Modification Center. It is expected to go on sale next summer.