Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ford Debuts 2011 Explorer Based Police Interceptor Utility

Welcome to the next-generation Ford Explorer Pursuit, aka the Police Interceptor Utility. This, for lack of a better term, is the "wagon" version of the Taurus Interceptor. Got a 0.50-cal or a K-9? You're gonna be in this thing.

Designed to "complement the sedan", the Explorer Pursuit will be available for order next to the sedan when the Crown Vic finally passes away (so don't be shy about trying something new, 5-0!). It will also be 20% more efficient than the outgoing Panther-based cruiser.

Of Ford's first official police utility vehicle, Mark Fields says, "We understand today's police departments require adaptability. Ford is committed to remaining the nation's largest provider of police vehicles, and we're offering law enforcement officials a complete portfolio of options that are purpose-built, capable and delivered with the safety, technology and performance they need to excel at their jobs."

Much like its sedan counterpart (after all, the new Explorer is really more of a Taurus X), the Explorer Pursuit will come with Ford's 280-horsepower, E85-compatible 3.5-liter V6 and a 6-speed automatic. While not confirmed, we could possibly see an EcoBoost V6 down the line if departments request it.

Like current Ford police cars, as well as the upcoming Taurus Interceptor, it will be able to take a 75-mph hit to the rear and pack several airbags into that pending rollover. There's also curve control, which allows the car's computer to nanny drivers into a more practical turn by cutting vehicle speed by 10 mph.

According to Ford, the Utility incorporates a cop radiator and cop alternator, cop brakes, and 18-inch wheels as standard. Inside, seats are designed to handle utility belts while a column shifter provides plenty of space for computer/tech integration. Other than all the sedan's standard specs (including front- or all-wheel drive), the Explorer Pursuit also snags Roll Stability Control (RSC).

Is it a Chevy Tahoe SUV? No, but nowadays maybe it doesn't have to be.

By Phil Alex

Photo Gallery: Ford Police Interceptor Utility

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