What do you call a car that is decked out in electronic lights and forces cars behind it to drive the speed limit? The answer is either a pace car or a police car, but Ford might answer both: it will pace next week’s NASCAR Championship Weekend races in Miami with a set of Ford Police Interceptors.
The races will be held at Homestead Miami Speedway over the course of November 18 to 20, and include the Ford 200 race in the Camping World Truck series, the Ford 300 race in the Nationwide Series, and the Sprint Cup Series Ford 400 race.
The pace car duties will be split between the Police Interceptor sedan and Police Interceptor Utility SUV, both of which feature V-6 engines, two fewer cylinders than the previous Police Interceptor model line. The Utility gets a tweaked version of the Explorer’s existing 3.7-liter TiVCT V-6 engine and sends 300 hp through an all-wheel drive system. Meanwhile, the Police Interceptor sedan gets either a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with about 280 horsepower, or an available EcoBoost 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 that makes 365 horsepower and features all-wheel drive. Both the PI sedan and utility use six-speed automatics. Ford, as you’d expect, will slot the turbocharged engine under the hood of its NASCAR Police Interceptor sedan.
While the 365 horsepower under the hood of Ford’s pacecar is well behind the 865 horsepower figure put out by Ford’s Fusion stock car, the Police Interceptors do still make more power than some of Ford’s previous pacecars: Ford has used NASCAR to premier other models like the Fusion Hybrid and the Focus in years past.