Only months after showing off a police version of the Ford Taurus, Ford today is displaying the caped crusader's new companion, the police version of the new Ford Explorer.
It's called the "Police Interceptor utility vehicle" and like the Taurus, it's built to get at least a 20% gas-mileage boost over the Ford Crown Victoria, that mainstay police car and taxicab that's no longer going to be produced after 2011.
The new crossover SUV has a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that develops 280 horsepower and can run on E85 ethanol blend fuel. It has a six-speed automatic transmission and can carry up to 800 pounds of guns, ammo, suspects, K-9s or just about anything else police haul these days.
Just as the Crown Victoria's departure has set up a three-way competition for police cars among Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, now Ford faces off against GM on police SUVs:
"We understand today's police departments require adaptability," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "We're offering law enforcement officials a complete portfolio of options that are purpose-built, capable and delivered with the safety, technology and performance they need to excel at their jobs."
Like the sedan, the utility version of the Police Interceptor is built to withstand a 75 mile-per-hour smack from the rear. Currently, the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is the only pursuit sedan to meet this test. The new SUV has lots of other features for police as well, like seats that accommodate gun belts and easy-to-clean rear seats.
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