Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn has unveiled the 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, which is the first-ever pursuit-rated police utility vehicle that offers a standard hybrid engine.
Agencies across the country have ordered more than 2,600 units equipped with the 3.3-liter hybrid engine. The commitments represent more than 17 percent of the more-than 15,000 orders for the 2020 Police Interceptor Utility. Conventional gas engine options include a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 and a 3.3-liter V6 with flex fuel capability.
“I drove the new Police Interceptor Utility and was impressed,” says George Yamanaka, Los Angeles Police Department fleet manager. “It’s great – a hybrid utility vehicle that doesn’t sacrifice performance.”
The department is working to convert its full patrol fleet to hybrid power and has ordered 39 2020 Police Interceptor Utility Hybrids to date, according to Yamanaka.
Actual mileage will vary, but the hybrid has an EPA-estimated rating of 23 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined. This is a 41 percent improvement over the current Police Interceptor Utility, which is equipped with a conventional 3.7-liter gas engine. Projections indicate the hybrid could help departments save between $3,500 and $5,700 per vehicle each year in fuel costs.
Hybrid technology is ideal for law enforcement due to the potentially significant idle-time fuel savings. The powertrain of the new hybrid allows the engine to shut off for extended periods, using the lithium-ion battery to power electrical equipment.
“Our Police Interceptor Utility’s standard hybrid powertrain provides the potential for significant fuel savings with improved performance and no tradeoffs in safety or cargo space,” says Stephen Tyler, police brand marketing manager for Ford. “It’s a win-win-win formula for law enforcement.”
Testing by the Michigan State Police in 2018 showed that the Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid had the fastest 0-100 mph acceleration, fastest lap, fastest average lap, and highest top speed of 137 mph compared to competitive police utility vehicles, including V8-powered entries. The only entry that was faster was the Ford Police Interceptor Utility powered by a 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
In Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department testing, the hybrid bested the outgoing 3.7-liter-equipped model in 0-60 mph by 1.1 seconds and in the 0-100 mph run by 4.7 seconds. It also turned a fastest lap time that was 2.4 seconds better than the 3.7-liter and fastest average lap time that was 1.7 seconds better.
New safety features allow the 2020 Police Interceptor Utility to meet Ford’s 75-mph rear-impact crash test. The federal standard for such testing is 50 mph.
New for 2020, the Police Perimeter Alert uses sensors to monitor a 270-degree area around the vehicle. It analyzes movement up to 80 feet away for potentially threatening behavior and automatically turns on the rear camera, sounds a chime, rolls up the windows, and locks the doors when it detects something. Motion trails on the digital instrument cluster help officers monitor their surroundings.
The Police Interceptor Utility and Police Responder Hybrid Sedan are equipped with two years of Ford Telematics, a service that enables feedback of vehicle usage and location to fleet managers. Available driver-assist technology includes pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, which features pedestrian detection and forward collision warning. A disable switch allows officers to temporarily override the system when necessary.
Other optional equipment includes an on-demand rear camera and factory installed and factory sealed wiring and lighting packages.
The new vehicles also offer improved cooling systems, a specially tuned braking system, front-door tethers, and police purposed steel wheels, tires, and hubcaps. It was also tested for an eight-inch curb impact, median crossing, 30-mph railroad crossing, and water fording up to 18 inches at 15 mph and 10 inches at 40 mph.