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First Look: 2012 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor

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.

Most of the other changes made to ready the Taurus to protect and serve are
relatively minor. A revised center console provides room for various aftermarket law
enforcement devices and is nestled between bespoke cloth bucket seats, and a column
shifter has been added to better access the gear. Along with an anti-stab plate
installed in the backrest, the seats receive special bolsters designed to
accommodate a standard police utility belt. Ford’s SYNC system is comes standard,
and can be custom-mapped to accommodate the needs of law enforcement.

The rear seat area is naturally less hospitable, but still an improvement over the
Crown Victoria’s setup. The vinyl bench seat is sculpted for easier handling of
detainees and is specially positioned to improve legroom. The revised rear door
hinges feature an extra ten degrees of travel to further aid perpetrator loading and
unloading.

Apart from the light and push bars, there are subtle ways to ID the Police
Interceptor from a normal Taurus. The large, 18-inch steel wheels are an obvious
giveaway, and the car also eschews the standard Taurus three-bar grille in favor of
a black mesh insert. The car could look virtually stock if these were replaced with
standard Taurus parts — and we’re sure officers desiring the ultimate stealth
cruiser will do just that.

Ford says production of the Police Interceptor will occur alongside the Taurus at
its plant in Chicago, Illinois, and will start as soon as Crown Victoria production
ends. Look for it to appear on city streets (or, God forbid, your rearview mirror)
next fall.

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Buying Guide
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2016 Ford Taurus

MSRP $36,310 Limited AWD Sedan

EPA MPG:

18 City / 27 Hwy

Safety (NHTSA):

★★★★★

Horse Power:

288 @ 6500