When Ford announced that their replacement for the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor would be based on the new Taurus, police departments across the country bemoaned the Taurus’ V6 or V6 EcoBoost engine option and FWD or AWD drivetrains. Accustomed to V8 powered, front-engine-rear-drive police cars large enough to have their own gravitational pull, departments pushed back on the Taurus as too small, too underpowered or too complex to maintain. Ford’s been putting some serious effort into their police fleet sales, including the launch of training programs on how to drive the Taurus SHO based Police Interceptor. One agency paying close attention was the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, who recently tested the Ford Police Interceptor Sedan head to head with the offerings from Dodge and Chevy.
The result? The Taurus SHO based Police Interceptor Sedan had quicker acceleration than either of the V8 powered, front engine, rear drive competitors. It even turned a quicker lap time than the Chevy or the Dodge, highlighting the handling advantages of AWD and a lighter chassis. Projected fuel economy on the EcoBoost Police Interceptor is 20% better than the outgoing Crown Vic, and the Police Interceptor even passed all of the LASD’s durability tests. So much for the myth of turbo engines and AWD drivetrains being fragile.
Ford’s good news didn’t end there, as their 3.5 liter V6 Ti-VCT Police Interceptor with AWD also beat V6 offerings from the competition in braking, acceleration and lap times. Not convinced yet? The Ford Explorer based Police Interceptor utility vehicle, which features a 3.7 liter V6 Ti-VCT engine and AWD, lapped the handling course some two seconds quicker than the Chevy Tahoe Police Interceptor, even when both were loaded down with 400 pounds of simulated equipment.
Will this be enough to quiet the skeptics? Probably not, but it’s a good place to start and certainly gives Ford bragging rights for the time being. They’ve dominated the law enforcement market for the past 15 years, and the Crown Vic goes out of production at the end of next year. That’s a big void to fill unless Ford can convince police agencies that their new Police Interceptors are a viable alternative to front engine, rear drive sedans.