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Ford Announces New Police Interceptor to be Built in Chicago

By Kevin Robinson in News on Mar 15, 2010 2:00PM

Ford Motor Company announced on Friday that it will build the new 2011 Police Interceptor at the automaker's Torrence Ave plant, on Chicago's South side. Ford expects to offer the new vehicle without interruption when it discontinues production of the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, which is built in St. Thomas, Ontario in late 2011. Ford's Police Interceptor redesign was driven by tough new federal rollover requirements, something the Crown Vic couldn't meet. Selling a hot new police car to municipalities strapped for cash, though, might be a tough sell.

Ford says that the new Police Interceptor, based on the redesigned Taurus, offers vast improvements over the aging Crown Victoria. The company says it's engineers worked with the company’s Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals, to develop an all-new vehicle featuring safety, performance, durability, driver comfort and functionality. “Safety and durability were at the top of their list," Ford said of their advisory board in a press release. "So safety and durability were at the top of ours.” That includes a 75-mph rear-end crash rating, side-curtain airbags that deploy in both a side-impact crash and a rollover, protecting both front and rear seat occupants in either event.

The new cruiser features a V-6 engine that matches or exceeds V-8 performance, as well as two powertrain options: a highly efficient 3.5-liter E85 compatible V-6 engine delivering at least 263 horsepower, and an all-new 3.5-liter EcoBoostâ„¢ V-6 twin-turbocharged, direct-injection engine will deliver at least 365 horsepower and 350 ft.-lb. of torque across a broad rpm range. “Both are designed for the severe-duty cycle that police engage in on a daily basis,” Scott Tobin, Ford vehicle line director for cars and crossovers, said in a statement. And while Ford's newest release significantly updates its police cruiser line, the interior has retained many of features unique to police vehicles, such as seating designed to accommodate utility belts, and an anti-stab plate to protect officers from unruly back-seat passengers. The gear shift has also been placed on the column, instead of the floor, freeing up space in the vehicle for weapons and communications equipment. And because the dimensions of that space match the Crown Vic, many departments should be able to reuse equipment in the new vehicle.

Just in time for the City of Chicago to begin replacing it's fleet of police cruisers, Ford confirmed that it will add a second Police Interceptor to the lineup, a utility vehicle that will be "pursuit-rated", to complement the sedan in law enforcement fleets. Speculation among auto enthusiasts is that it will based on the new Ford Explorer, which will also be built in Chicago. Ford says it will release more information about the utility vehicle in this year's third quarter.