Ford Explorer Interceptor Won't Be America's Fastest Cop Car Forever

Industry News / 4 Comments

Its successor already exists.

Every year, the Michigan State Police department puts America's police cars through their paces in a series of tests to find out if they can cope with the demands of police duty. These extensive tests provide an important performance comparison revealing how fast each patrol car can respond to an emergency where time is of the essence and whether it can keep up with fleeing criminals.

The results allow police departments across America to determine which car suits their requirements best. This year, the MSP put four motorcycles and 11 vehicles through a series of evaluations assessing the acceleration, top speed, distance to top speed, braking, and lap time. But there can only be one winner.

Ford Dodge

For 2021, the MSP found that the 2022 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, based on the Ford Explorer, was the quickest cop car in the fleet - at least for now. Thanks to its 3.0-liter V6, tests showed the police SUV could hit 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds and 100 mph in 13.5 seconds. Impressively, the SUV's 0-60 mph time was 0.7 seconds faster than the V8-powered, rear-wheel-drive Dodge Charger Pursuit, while the 0-100 mph acceleration time was 0.6 seconds quicker.

It could also hit a top speed of 148 mph, the highest speed of any police vehicle tested, in 1.6 miles. For comparison, the V8 Charger Pursuit reached a top speed of 139 mph in under one mile, the shortest distance of any vehicle tested.

Ford Ford

The Ford F-150 Police Responder pickup also reached 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and 100 mph in 14.3 seconds. For the first time, a Ford Mustang Mach-E police prototype was tested by the MSP, and results showed the electric SUV is ready for police duty. With all-wheel drive and 480 horsepower, the Mustang Mach-E police SUV is based on the high-performance Mach-E GT.

During testing, the Mach-E reached 60 mph in four seconds and 100 mph in 11.9 seconds. Ford says the street version will do the 0-60 mph sprint in 3.5 seconds, but the police version is likely heavier due to the extra police equipment on board.

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Even so, the electric SUV is significantly quicker than the Ford Police Interceptor Utility, but the Mustang Mach-E police SUV is still a prototype and not available to purchase yet so it doesn't technically count. The test did reveal an inherent problem with electric police vehicles, however: range. After being tested for 18 laps around the test track, the Mustang Mach-E's battery charge had dropped by 30 percent.

Nevertheless, it's probably only a matter of time before we start seeing police Mustang Mach-E SUVs patrol the streets. With battery technology and EV infrastructure constantly improving, we won't be surprised if the electric Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning replace the Ford Police Interceptor Utility and Ford F-150 Police Responder one day.

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