Monday, July 4, 2011

Ford reveals its all-new, purpose-built Police Interceptor Utility Vehicle

Ford Motor Company, the police vehicle market leader for 15 years, has done it again. The company unveiled the all-new Police Interceptor Utility vehicle in Chicago.

To develop the all-new Police Interceptor Utility, Ford engineers worked hand-in-hand with Ford's Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals, which provided input on key vehicle attributes such as safety, performance, durability, driver comfort and functionality.

“Their feedback mattered to us,” said Scott Tobin, Ford vehicle line director for cars and crossovers. “Safety and durability were at the top of their list. So safety and durability were at the top of ours.”

Since law enforcement officials have specific needs, Ford's engineers designed several features to address the special requirements of the job. Including:

Ballistic Door Panels: These are certified by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) to stop all Type III and all lesser NIJ rounds.

75 MPH Crash Test Rated: Ford Police Interceptors are purpose-built to pass 75-mph rear-end crash testing. (Ford is the only manufacturer to publish results.)

Personal Safety System: Designed to protect, the Personal Safety System™ is a holistic, networked safety approach. The always-on-alert Safety Canopy® System includes a rollover sensor, along with roll-fold, side-curtain airbags. Meanwhile, the Interceptors are structurally tough. A reinforced, heavy-duty unibody architecture creates multiple crush zones.

Interior Comfort: The driver seat is six-way power adjustable with lumbar support. Plus, both front seats feature sculpted foam at the bottom of the seat back to accommodate an officer's utility belt. And inserted into the seatback, are anti-stab plates, designed to protect front-seat occupants.

The Police Interceptor utility crossover complements the Taurus-based sedan in Ford's police lineup. The utility vehicle will come in front- and all-wheel-drive models, and will be powered by a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 making at least 280 hp working with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The utility vehicle and sedan are part of Ford's dual approach to replacing the aging Crown Victoria, which remains the most popular car for police around the country. Ford is breaking away from that car's tried-and-true mold of V8 power channeled to the rear wheels, though the company is quick to say the all-wheel setup will be just as effective for officers.

"This is a very diverse industry with multifaceted requirements," said Jim Holland, chief engineer of the police utility vehicle. The utility vehicle is also said to get 20 percent better fuel economy than the current Crown Vic.

Both vehicles were tested by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Michigan State Police.

Ford's new Police Interceptor utility will be manufactured at Ford's Chicago (Ill.) Assembly Plant and will be offered without interruption when production of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor ends in late 2011.

Source: Ford

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