The Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor has become synonymous in this country with law enforcement. Based on the ancient Panther platform, departments across the country loved the Crown Vic for its price, frame-on-body construction, and all around toughness. Fuel economy? Not so much.
Last Friday Ford introduced a new Police Interceptor, based on the 2010 Taurus D3 platform. In addition to improved safety and a better looking car, Ford promised the new Police Interceptor would have more horsepower and better fuel economy than the outgoing Crown Victoria.
Late last year GM announced it would be importing the Holden Caprice to serve as police vehicles in the U.S. sometime next year. This was a traditional V8, rear-wheel drive layout that has been popular with police officers. The Taurus has no V8 option; just two variations of the V6. Either the 263 horsepower 3.5 liter V6, or the 365 horsepower EcoBoost V6. Both engines are more powerful than the outgoing Crown Victoria’s V8 engine, which made just 250 horsepower and the EcoBoost promises to provide more power while maintaining relatively high fuel economy.
On the regular Taurus sedan, the EPA rates gas mileage at 18 city and 28 highway for the Ford Taurus. While Ford did not cite specific fuel economy estimates, it did say it should be about 25% more efficient than the Crown Victoria, which has a combined EPA rating of 19 mpg. In these tight fiscal times, any savings would be a boon to local municipalities. But will a uni-body design and lack of rear-wheel drive (though all-wheel drive is an option with either engine) hurt sales?
More importantly though, I am wondering: how long will it take for an automaker to offer a hybrid cop car? Unless you are talking about state troopers, police patrol cars are likely used more often in city settings… where a hybrid system would really shine. What is the hold up Detroit?
Check out the full press release on the next page.