Ford Reveals All-New Police Interceptor Utility

Ford has just revealed the all-new Police Interceptor Utility. Which might just be your first look at the new Explorer too.

The automaker says that the current Police Interceptor Utility is part of the reason the company sold nearly three-quarters of all police vehicles in Canada in 2017. But that doesn't mean that there isn't room for improvement.

For 2020, the Police Interceptor Utility gets a standard hybrid powertrain. It's a 3.3L V6 with a lithium-ion battery pack and all-wheel drive. The automaker says it projects 9.8 L/100 km combined, 41 percent better than the current model with a 3.7L gas V6. But if you're thinking that you can outrun cops in a hybrid, maybe think again.

Ford said that the new hybrid was 1.1 seconds faster to 100 km/h in Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department testing than the old engine. And 4.7 seconds quicker to 160 km/h. That means 7.39 and 18.31 seconds respectively. Ok, it's not lightning fast, but it does move.

A new 3.0L Ecoboost V6 is also available, and if you're afraid of turbos and hybrids, a 3.3L plain V6 is on the options list. All get a 10-speed auto, and all get AWD.

New tech added to the Interceptor Utility includes a 270-degree surround sensor array. It monitors beside and behind the vehicle, alerting officers if someone is sneaking up from behind. It'll even lock the doors to stop them getting in. The rear-view camera can be turned on while driving.

Driver aids include pre-collision assist with emergency braking, though the braking can be toggled off in case they actually want to ram something.

The front seats are heavy cloth, with wider bolsters for quicker ingress and egress and more comfort with that loaded Sam Brown belt on. The front seats have Anti-Stab plates, just in case. Back seats are vinyl, with matching floors.

Durability mods to the new ute include improved cooling and special brakes. There are also door tethers to stop them being flung open accidentally. Special thicker wheels are designed to help let the PIU hit eight-inch curbs, cross medians, and jump railway crossings at 50 km/h. They can even ford 457 mm of water at 24 km/h and 254 mm at 65 km/h. Actually, we'd like to see that test.

Take a close look at that new styling if you're planning on mid-size crossover shopping next year. Because that new bodywork, well, it's probably the new Explorer – the current PIU is based on the Explorer. Ford isn't saying for sure, but we're quite confident that the upcoming civilian Ex will wear that same sheet metal. And likely have some of the same drivelines available. We aren't sure when we'll get to see that one.

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