Odds are pretty high that if you get pulled over by the police in 2019, it’ll be by an officer driving a Ford. The Blue Oval claims to have a lockdown of 65 percent of U.S. police vehicle sales using 2017 figures. But it’s not resting on its badge: To stay on top of the bad guys and the competition, an all-new 2020 Police Interceptor Utility joins its fleet offerings that also include cop sedans, F-150s, Expeditions, and Transit vans.
Three powertrain options are available for the latest Ford cop SUV—a standard 3.3-liter V-6 with hybrid assistance, an optional 3.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V-6, and a 3.3-liter naturally aspirated V-6. The engines are all mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive that offers various traction modes, including one for deep snow and sand. According to Ford, the hybrid saves an estimated $5,700 a year in fuel, and running costs are obviously a huge priority for municipalities and fleet operators. The hybrid powertrain has an estimated EPA fuel rating of 24 mpg combined, which is a 41 percent improvement over the outgoing version powered by a 3.7-liter gas-only V-6.
Both the Michigan State Police and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have tested the new vehicle, which has a top speed of 137 mph, and Ford says the new Utility hybrid smoked the outgoing 3.7-liter model in the zero-to-60-mph sprint by 1.1 seconds and by 4.7 seconds when running from zero to 100 mph.
Ford states that the Police Interceptor Utility platform was engineered to incorporate the hybrid system and its lithium-ion battery, and that there are no tradeoffs in peace officer, perpetrator, or cargo space. The new Utility is also rated to withstand a 75-mph rear impact, and it’s built to handle chases over railroad tracks and the like. It can wade through up to 18 inches of water at 15 mph and up to 10 inches at 40 mph. Heavy-duty cloth seats, Bluetooth, LED headlights, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, and a Class III trailer tow receiver with a 5,000-pound capacity are all standard.
Tech goodies include a factory-installed Police Perimeter Alert to keep officers safer while parked. Sensors monitor the vehicle and if motion is detected outside the vehicle, it sounds a chime, turns on the rear camera, rolls up any open windows, and locks the doors. Vinyl seats and flooring, collision mitigation, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, and an on-demand rear camera are among the options.
Given that the Police Interceptor Utility is spun from the all-new, rear-wheel-drive based Explorer, it’s a good bet that all of the non-cop stuff listed here—the powertrains in particular—may preview what will be offered on the civilian version slated to be unveiled very soon.