Ford had some K9 help introducing its new 2016 Police Interceptor at this year’s Chicago Auto Show. Developed with input from the Ford Police Advisory Board, Ford says it’s designed to handle the extreme rigors of police duty.
“Our Police Interceptor Utility is the best-selling police vehicle in America because we have a unique relationship with our customers,” said Jonathan Honeycutt, Ford North American marketing manager for Police Vehicles. “By listening to the Ford Police Advisory Board, we have engineered a vehicle that officers love.”
It’s based on the 2016 Explorer introduced last November at the Los Angeles Motor Show. Like the Explorer, the Police Interceptor gets a new front fascia characterized by redesigned radiator grille, sharper headlights and a new lower bumper. The middle section of the SUV remains essentially unchanged while the rear end gets revamped tail lamps and a new spoiler.
The Police Interceptor stands out from its family-focused counterpart thanks to ballistic shields built to Level III specifications integrated into the front doors, a heavy-duty suspension system with larger springs, upgraded brakes, 18-inch steel wheels and 25 available lighting patterns.
The Interceptor can be ordered with an optional Surveillance Mode that warns the driver when someone approaches the rear end of the vehicle and automatically locks all of the doors and raises the driver’s window. Ford has also added a lift gate release switch that allows the front occupants to unlock the trunk for 45 seconds.
Power for the Police Interceptor Utility comes from a 3.7-liter V6 engine that makes 304-horsepower and 279 lb-ft. of torque. Police departments looking to reduce their gasoline budget can opt for a 3.5-liter EcoBoost mill rated at 365-horsepower and 350 lb-ft. of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission with a built-in Pursuit Mode and all-wheel drive come standard regardless of which six-cylinder is chosen.
Built in Chicago, the 2016 Ford Police Interceptor will go on sale next summer, meaning you can expect to see it appear in your rear-view mirror shortly after.