Ford's aging Crown Victoria is barely relevant to most consumers, but cabbies and police officers across the country will bemoan its demise once production ceases next fall. The Transit Connect van may satisfy the livery fleets, but to appease law enforcement officers, Ford crafted its new 2012 Police Interceptor.
Without a doubt, Ford's new Interceptor is a clean break from the decades-old body-on-frame, V-8-powered, rear-wheel-drive Crown Vic formula. Although Ford was once rumored to be modifying its rear-drive Australian Falcon platform for police use, Ford instead went to its American-built Taurus sedan for the new car.
As is the case with the consumer model, police departments will have their choice of two different powertrains in the Police Interceptor. The 265 hp, normally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 is standard, and sends its power to the front wheels only. Those looking for a veritable pursuit special will likely opt for the other driveline, which is ripped straight from the Taurus SHO. Ford's EcoBoost twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 provides "at least" 365 hp, which is channeled to all four wheels. While power looks to be on par with a standard Taurus, Ford engineers did upgrade the Police Interceptor's brakes -- something we'd love to see transition to the SHO.
Like the Crown Vic, the Taurus Police Interceptor has been designed to pass 75-mph rear-end crash testing, and a heavy-duty alternator and an enlarged radiator have been added. In addition, the car has also undergone certification testing designed by the Michigan State Police and the L.A. County Sheriff's Departments to emulate the rigorous duty police officers will no doubt put the car through.