Police Departments Choosing SUVs – Car Pro News

The next time you’re watching a high-speed pursuit unfolding on the local TV news, don’t be surprised if you see the bad guys being chased by police in an SUV.
That would be the police version of the Ford Explorer, which is rated as being capable of police pursuits. That would have never happened in the past, when SUVs — or in the case of the Explorer, a crossover — were deemed too top-heavy for high-speed pursuit work.
As a result, Ford is seeing about 40% of its orders for its police vehicles coming in for the SUV instead of the sedan, a modified Taurus. That’s a surprisingly high percentage. Lisa Teed, who is in charge of Ford’s Police Interceptor program, says officers appreciate the high seating position of the SUV and the extra room in back.
For the sedan, Ford is now offering a new engine choice, a 3.7-liter V-6, that gets 1 mile more a gallon and 17 more horsepower than the 3.5-liter V-6. The cost can be as little as $100 extra for the new engine, which would seem like a no-brainer. But Teed says Ford is offering both to capture orders from departments that already had their specifications drawn up.
Those engines live rough lives. “They may idle for half of the vehicle’s life,” Teed says. “A lot of heat” builds up in them.
About one of five orders so far is for police vehicles with Ford’s turbocharged Ecoboost engine, which saves gas and gives an extra boost of power when needed. She says most of those orders have come from departments that patrol open highways.


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