No, the 2010 Specialty Equipment Market Association show isn't a police equipment trade show, but that isn't stopping Ford from bringing its latest cop car to the annual event. You're looking at Ford's Police Interceptor Stealth concept, but we're reticent to call it a "concept" -- apart from a few visual modifications, the Stealth is little more than a stock Taurus-based 2012 Police Interceptor.
According to Ford designer Melvin Betancourt, the SEMA show car draws the majority of its inspiration from the legendary Lockheed Martin SR-71 Blackbird. Although we doubt the Taurus-based cop car was fitted with ramjet engines and is capable of reaching supersonic speeds at the fringes of our atmosphere, the Interceptor Stealth concept does sport a similar look: black paint, black wheels, black grille inserts, and deep-tinted window glass all around.
Sounds neat, but seeing as the Stealth was destined for SEMA, Betancourt's team decided to add a little pizzazz. The Interceptor's suspension was lowered by one inch, while stock Taurus taillight assemblies have been smoked to blend in with the paint job. The stock 18-inch steel wheels have been replaced with giant 22-inch rims, which feature staggered rim sections and chrome accents, not entirely unlike wheels offered on the outgoing Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.
"The center of the wheel is glossy black, and the rim is chrome," Betancourt said. "So we have that racy, hot rod look, but at the same time we're building a sinister, stealthy, 'Don't mess with me' feeling."
The stealth theme continues within the Interceptor itself. Along with the black seating, headliner, and pillar trim, Police-spec radios and computers -- equipment Ford worked so hard to integrate into its new Interceptor -- have been hidden within a modified Taurus center console. Additionally, the Stealth concept also receives a locking gun compartment within the glove box.
Although we enjoy the notion of a slammed, bad-to-the-bone Taurus SHO, we'd be a little intimidated to see an Interceptor Stealth popping up in our rearview mirror. Ford hasn't officially announced any undercover versions of the production Police Interceptor, but it wouldn't take much -- a Taurus grille and a SHO emblem, perhaps? -- to make the ultimate unmarked patrol car.