Making good on the second half of its proposed one-two punch for law enforcement, Ford has revealed its first cop-centric variation on an SUV. Based on the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer, the 2012 Ford Police Interceptor Utility will head into production at the end of next year when the recently announced 2012 Ford Police Interceptor spun from new Taurus also comes online. Both vehicles share common platform architecture, and both will be built at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant.
Like its sedan-bodied cousin, the new Police Interceptor Utility was designed with extensive input from Ford's Police Advisory Board. In addition to substantial structural reinforcing, suspension/brake upgrades vehicle-specific tuning of its dynamics control systems, and Ford's Safety Canopy side-curtain airbags, the Interceptor Utility features a long list of mission-focused upgrades that optimize it for day-to-day duty, both on and off-road. Available in front or all-wheel drive configurations, the new Police Interceptor Utility will be fitted with an E85-compatible 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine that makes at last 280 horsepower and a specially-geared six-speed automatic transmission. Like the Interceptor sedan, Ford is predicting that combination will yield 20-percent better fuel economy than the current, V-8-powered Crown Victoria police package.
Ford's Interceptor duo shares a good deal of cost-effective design functionality inside, as well. Dedicated seat designs that accommodate utility belts and feature anti-stab backrests plus a column-mounted shift lever and easy-clean fold-flat rear seats are the most obvious upgrades. However, the common dash electronics and sophisticated support systems including Ford BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert, a rear-view camera, Reverse Sensing System, remappable steering wheel control buttons and the latest version of SYNC also will be on hand to enhance both safety and operational convenience.
"We understand today's police departments require adaptability," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas. "Ford is committed to remaining the nation's largest provider of police vehicles, and we're offering law enforcement officials a complete portfolio of options that are purpose-built, capable and delivered with the safety, technology and performance they need to excel at their jobs."