Ford Introduces an 'Industry First' Hybrid Pursuit-Rated Police Vehicle
Being first is a tricky business. As we all know, Columbus was the first to discover the Americas but we also all know that is an utter falsehood. In addition to people already living on the continent, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Viking and Chinese sailors made the trip by boat long before Spain was even considered a country. However, Columbus is the smug-looking gentleman getting most of the exploratory credit in Western textbooks.
It’s a similar story with Ford’s new Police Responder Hybrid Sedan. The automaker is calling it the “first pursuit-rated hybrid police car,” but that’s a little like saying you are the best athlete in a sport you also invented.
There doesn’t seem to be any official guidelines on what makes something a “pursuit-rated” vehicle. Ford says it means the car is certified by police agencies to be tough enough to handle police pursuits for longer periods at different speeds and over obstacles (such as curbs and flooded intersections). However, there is no clear maxim of what that entails between departments and no minimum requirement.
Typically, pursuit cars are any versatile platform already in an automaker’s law enforcement fleet that boasts the best acceleration. The vehicle is then equipped with some additional safety features, a light bar, upgraded brakes, suspension, and the hardware necessary to let it idle all day as the officer kills time between speeding violations. Automakers have been calling regular patrol cars “pursuit vehicles” for decades.
Pursuit is actually a term more synonymous with Chevy’s fleet offerings than Ford’s. Had Chevrolet bothered to designate its Tahoe Hybrid Special Service Vehicle differently, perhaps General Motors would be the one bragging about having the industry’s first hybrid police car.
Furthermore, some departments have already been making use of hybrid vehicles for a while. The NYPD uses the Toyota Prius for traffic and parking enforcement. It has also repurposed the occasional Ford Fusion Hybrid for light patrol duty — which is exactly what this new Police Responder Hybrid Sedan is. But the NYPD doesn’t bother calling its hybrid cars “pursuit vehicles” because it knows they won’t be nearly as fast as the Taurus-based Interceptor Sedan, with its 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6.
This is just another opportunity for Ford to announce how progressive and technologically superior it is. Hats off to it for producing a police package on a platform that could save departments serious gas money, but using careful wording to make it seem like it was the first to develop a hybrid cop car is a little grimy.
Ford’s new hybrid “pursuit vehicle” comes with the standard Fusion Hybrid’s Atkinson-cycle 2.0 liter inline-four and 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery, and will debut in Los Angeles and New York City — where we’ve already seen them for years.
[Images: Ford Motor Co.]
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- Carlson Fan I think it is pretty cool & grew up with a '75 Ford window van so I can attest to their utility. $60K is a lot for any vehicle and I'm not convinced EV's are ready for prime time for a number of reasons. It would make an awesome 2nd or 3rd vehicle in a multi-car household but again the price would keep most from considering it.I agree with the other comments that those who have to have it will buy it and then sales will drop off. Offer a panel version for the commercial market, that could have possibilities.
- Wjtinfwb Panther Black? or Black Panther? Shaped like a decade old Ford detectives sedan? Seems like an odd way to send out your marquee car...
- Kwik_Shift Instead of blacked, how about chromed? Don't follow the herd.
- Carlson Fan Nicest looking dash/gage cluster ever put in any PU truck. After all these years it still looks so good.
- Wheatridger Correct me if I'm wrong, but has the widescreen digital dash usurped the space formerly occupied in every other car by an HVAC vent? I see one prominent vent well right of center, where there should be two. I rely on twin driver's side vents to warm my hands on cold mornings, and I wouldn't give that up for more screen area.
I think Ford must be smoking some dope. the police market seems to be suv's instead of police cars. Surely ford must know that but again...they didn't almost go broke by having good smart men at the tiller. we need Toyota to come up with a hybrid suv that will really get everybody's attention. I don't think the Highlander is big enough but maybe one of the larger models would do. And everyone knows that if toyota does it, it will be done 'right'. But the asians have not grasped the 'large vehicle market in the US' very well.
"Pursuit-Rated" Bench seat up front?