Ford Announces "All New" Police Interceptor

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

GM surprised more than a few observers when it announced it would build a police-only Caprice model, based on the global RWD Chevy Lumina/ Holden Statesman. “Why build a fleet-only model and miss out on some private volume?” we asked at the time. Well, it looks like Ford’s about to do the same thing. A presser announces the development of a “purpose-built Police Interceptor specially designed and engineered to replace the Ford Crown Victoria law enforcement vehicle lineup in 2011.” Given that time table, “all new” is at least partial exaggeration (as it so often is). And it’s possible that this was motivated in part by the cool reaction to news of a possible Taurus-based Interceptor. GM went to Australia for their police-duty RWD platform, might Ford do the same with a Falcon-based interceptor? Or is this the prelude to Panther 2.0? Or, as common sense seems to dictate, is the Interceptor “all new” simply because there’s just never been an Interceptor based on this Taurus before? If Ford is really engineering a dedicated fleet vehicle for US production with no civilian counterpart, they’re as crazy as GM is. D3 it is.

Edward Niedermeyer
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  • Blautens Blautens on Nov 14, 2009
    IronEagle November 13th, 2009 at 8:33 pm Well I don’t want some psycho robber/home invader/maniac getting away just because the wheezing 3800 V6 is out run by a 600 cc motorcycle or honda civic with t00nerz turbo. Yeah you can’t beat the radio and all but people do evade sometimes. I’d rather the police chasing can have more g’s to pull to corner better then accelerate with Gen III/IV power catch the bad guys. A common misconception is that the Ford Panther is a fast patrol car. It never was. When I was a police officer, I bested Panthers in several competitions with my 1996 Caprice 9C1, and even did it with a 1992 5.0 liter version. (Yes, police agencies do things like's good way to end a week of pursuit training.) Even today, it's not the fastest. Google "michigan state police vehicle testing" - they are the original authority on comprehensive patrol car testing (LA has a good program, too, and they have a unique twist to their tests). In straight line acceleration the Impala is faster than the Panther. In top speed it's MUCH faster. It only fell behind on the track times (1:40 to 1:42), which is curious to me, but it was consistent, so something is amiss there (understeer, I'm guessing). The Impala 9C1 doesn't have the 3800 engine, either. I'm not saying the current 9C1 is a superior patrol car. I'm just pointing out the Panther is not the fastest, nor the best patrol car ever. The last of the GM B body 9C1's were superior - and still would be if they were produced now - that's not nostalgia, and I'm not alone in that opinion. I was about to go on and on about the multidimensional and unique needs of law enforcement vehicles and fleet deployment, but I just realized no one cares except pistonhead cops, ex-cops, and fleet managers...
    • 86er 86er on Nov 14, 2009

      I'm none of those things, but I care. I suppose I'd like your take on if you see some of the "unique" aspects of police work in North America change to a more European style and the PIT-manuevers and high speed pursuits and curb hopping become a thing of the past, if you follow me. If you did happen to go on at length about the unique needs of law enforcement vehicles it might help stem some of this "well they don't do it that way in Europe" argument. TTAC needs to settle this question once and for all.

  • Blowfish Blowfish on Nov 14, 2009

    I’m not sure it would make much sense to have a transverse-engined, rear-wheel-drive vehicle U mean Trans engine front mount and power to rear wheels? That makes sense if money is no object. U need a powerful strong 90 degree angle drive, or a long chain runs all the way to rear axle. It probably easier to make FWD with an rear engine too. Porsche had make AWD .

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Nov 14, 2009
    Ford COULD be building a world class, unrivaled RWD full size sedan... They did. It was called the Lincoln LS. It cost them a mint to design and build, yet they couldn't sell it for anything remotely resembling a profit. There's a reason why there are few pure rear-drive nonpremium cars: there's no money in them, and other than the enthusiast market, no one will pay the premium to make them profitable. If you want rear-drive and a non-premium price, the resulting vehicle is going to be so badly compromised that it's front-drive competition will eat it alive at retail. The Panther was the choice of fleets because it was so incredibly easy to repair when it was abused. Fleet managers in North America are going to have to realize that ship has sailed, just as it has in the rest of the world, and that the modern replacement is going to have a the same tangle of suspension and steering components that "normal" cars do, and that they'll need to expand the repair kit beyond "two stout trees and a big hammer". Cops and cabbies, in their turn, are going to have to stop hopping curbs with impunity and follow the rules of the road like the rest of us.
  • Toasty Toasty on Nov 15, 2009
    psarhjinian: Cops and cabbies, in their turn, are going to have to stop hopping curbs with impunity and follow the rules of the road like the rest of us. Quite often, police officers need a vehicle that is durable enough to hop curbs because their customers don't "follow the rules of the road like the rest of us". Those of you proposing the use of other vehicles might want to keep that in mind. If the durability of the Crown Victoria is lost, it'll be a sad day for law enforcement. The move to SUVs is a response to the lack of durability and space offered by the likes of the Impala and Taurus, but an SUV is a poor substitute for a large, BOF car. The only current competitor to the Crown Victoria is the Charger, and aside from its durability and space concerns, its future is in doubt. The Carbon Motors E7 is at least two years away from production, and its future is far from certain. GM is thinking about reviving the Caprice, but given their track record, who knows what that means. The next few years will be very interesting for police fleet managers. Unless Ford changes their minds ( again), the forced migration to a variety of questionable options will be a difficult one.