Faster. More efficient. Better at pulling you over.
Later this week, Ford will reveal its all-new 2020 Explorer. Well, the civilian version that is. But today the Blue Oval has decided to first unveil the 2020 Police Interceptor Utility which, like its predecessor, is based on the regular Explorer but has been properly outfitted for America’s finest. First and foremost, the new Police Interceptor Utility has improved fuel economy and better overall mileage thanks to its hybrid powertrain.
Under the hood is a choice of three engines: a 3.3-liter hybrid, an optional 3.0-liter EcoBoost and a 3.3-liter V6, all of which are paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission and feature full-time all-wheel drive with deep snow/sand traction modes. But it’s the 3.3-liter hybrid Ford already claims will return an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined.
These fuel savings, according to Ford’s estimates, will save police departments between $3,500 and $5,700 on annual fuel costs per vehicle. Equally important, testing conducted by the Michigan State Police and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department proved the new hybrid Interceptor is faster than its predecessor in all acceleration tests. Along with being faster and more efficient, the SUV also comes with plenty of police-only gear.
For example, there’s the familiar Police Perimeter Alert System that monitors 270 degrees around the vehicle in order to help alert the officers of any potential dangers, i.e. bad guys. The system will also automatically secure the SUV by rolling up the windows and locking the doors when it detects a threat. It’ll even create motion trails of the detected threat that appears on the digital instrument cluster (pictured below are images of the outgoing 2019 Explorer Police Interceptor).
One optional feature is the Red Camera On-Demand which allows officers to see what’s happening behind the SUV by simply pressing a button. A few standard cop car features here include heavy-duty cloth front seats with reduced bolsters for comfort and easy entry and exit (remember, police wear gun belts). The rear seats are vinyl for, shall we say, easier cleanup. No specific details necessary.
There are even anti-stab plates in the rear of the front seat backs to help protect officers from any threats. All new Police Interceptors meet 75 mph rear-impact crash standards even though the federal standard is 50 mph. It can even handle water fording to 18 inches at 15 mph and 10 inches at 40 mph.
Mechanically, there’s an upgraded cooling system, specially tuned brakes, police-spec steel wheels, and various other structural and body reinforcements to help better withstand eight-inch curb impacts and high-speed crossings over, say, railroad tracks. Ford did not say when the 2020 Police Interceptor will be rolled out to agencies, but we figure that’ll get underway later this year.