Ford Police Hybrid: First “pursuit-rated” status
Ford revealed a new Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, a front-drive 4-door the automaker says is the industry’s first gas/electric vehicle to be pursuit-rated. Based on the current Fusion Hybrid with its naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson Cycle engine and supplemental electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery, this new hybrid is part of Ford’s $4.5 billion investment intended to promote its ambitious program aimed at introducing 13 new electric/electrified vehicles within the next five years. With a dominating 63 percent market share, Ford is already the country’s top seller of police vehicles and the automaker hopes to expand that reach with this latest offering that can reduce emissions and fuel costs for U.S. law enforcement agencies.
According to Ford, the new Police Responder Hybrid Sedan is designed to deliver a 38-mpg combined rating which is 20 mpg more than its current Taurus-based Police Interceptor Sedan powered by a the firm’s conventional 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6. The hybrid powertrain has been modified for police duty cycles, and top pure electric speed has been trimmed from 84 to 60 mph. While there’s no word as to its top speed, the “pursuit ready” classification on the new Responder Hybrid Sedan officially means it’s been certified to handle chase situations for extended periods at different speeds and also contend with road obstacles like curbs and flooded intersections.
The start-stop technology in this new Police Responder Hybrid Sedan makes more extensive use of the battery to operate the on-board electrics and reduce engine operation time during idling, which Ford claims can trim fuel usage by up to 0.27 gallons per hour. In a typical duty day with gasoline at $2.50/gallon, it also could help lower annual fuel costs by nearly $3,900 compared to the current Police Interceptor. Ford says first deliveries will begin next summer.
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