Ford Delivers Another 'Pursuit Rated' Vehicle to Law Enforcement

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
ford delivers another pursuit rated vehicle to law enforcement

Ford recently began giving law enforcement agencies more options in terms of the type of automobiles they want to put into active duty. The company provided America’s preferred pursuit vehicle, the Crown Victoria, for years and has moved on to a broader fleet of sedans, SUVs, and pickups specifically equipped for police use. Earlier this year, Ford showcased the Police Responder Hybrid Sedan as part of its Greener Shade of Blue campaign — dubbing it the “first pursuit-rated hybrid police car.”

We condemned Ford for its bragging, mainly because Chevrolet already provided a hybrid police vehicle and there was no concrete evidence that the Police Responder Hybrid Sedan was actually pursuit-rated. Unfortunately, we may be forced to do that all over again with Ford’s new F-150 Police Responder pickup. It’s another new, likely welcome, entry into the automaker’s extensive law enforcement fleet that leaves us doubting the validity of the terminology used.

When enquiring about the Hybrid Sedan’s worthiness of being considered a pursuit vehicle, Lt. Michael McCarthy, from the Michigan State Police’s Precision Driving Unit, stated he wanted to reserve all formal judgements until after the car had undergone the department’s rigorous annual testing at Grattan Raceway.

As anyone with a sincere interest in squad cars will tell you, manufacturers (and practically every police department in North America) look to the MSP to provide useful benchmarks for the capabilities of vehicles outfitted for law enforcement.

“Ford has a Police Advisory Board which consists of approximately 25 members from police agencies around the nation and Canada,” Lt. McCarthy explained. “Many of the suggestions that have been made at these meetings have been incorporated into their police vehicles. The Board meets 2-4 times per year and puts the members in direct contact with the engineers making their vehicles.”

The Michigan State Police and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s also provide the purchasing specifications and testing criteria necessary to develop what they consider a pursuit-rated vehicle. While automakers can technically call the models whatever they want, it’s not unreasonable to assume the terms used by the manufacturer adhere to these targets. “Our purchasing spec says that [a pursuit vehicle] must accelerate from 0-60 mph in 9.0 seconds, 0-80 mph in 14.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 24.6 seconds, and attain a top speed of 120 mph — minimum,” McCarthy told us.

While there is little doubt the F-150 Police Responder’s 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost can hit most of these guidelines, especially with 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque on tap, Ford indicates it is limited to 100 mph. However, the automaker is still calling the pickup “pursuit-rated.”

“Ford’s 2018 F-150 Police Responder is the perfect all-terrain law enforcement vehicle,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford’s police brand marketing manager, in a release. “Aside from its industry-first on-road pursuit capability, this purpose-built pickup can comfortably seat five, while providing capability in off-road patrol situations for officers in rural environments patrolled by sheriff’s departments, border patrol operations and the Department of Natural Resources.”

Even though this is more of a problem for Ford’s marketing department than its engineers, it does seem inappropriate to bestow a meaningful label upon the truck before it has proven itself deserving of it. Additionally, Ford typically calls its pursuit cars Interceptors — as is the case with the Taurus-based Police Interceptor Sedan and Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility. Calling the F-150 a “Responder,” which Ford also did with the Hybrid Sedan, seems to indicate the company wasn’t willing to fully commit.

Fastidiousness aside, some departments are likely to be interested in the new pickup. General Motors offers the Silverado Special Service Vehicle but the F-150 should outperform it in terms of fuel economy, thanks to its comparatively smaller engine and 10-speed automatic.

Coming standard with the FX4 off-road package, the Ford pickup uses a part-time four-wheel-drive system with low-range transfer case and comes with a locking rear differential, skid plates, and model-specific shocks. As a police vehicle, the Responder is outfitted with the obligatory 240-amp alternator, column-mounted shifter, and steel-plated seat backs. It also has unique aluminum wheels, an anti-roll bar, and upgraded brakes. Ford claims the F-150 Police Responder has a 7,000-pound tow capacity, which is on par with the civilian FX4 after you consider the added weight police vehicles typically incur.

Ford has yet to announced when it will begin delivery of the new pickup to government agencies, but it assures us that Ne’er-do-wells won’t be safe from it on or off-road.

[Images: Ford Motor Company]

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  • Hamish42 Hamish42 on Jul 20, 2017

    I'd like to think that at the same time they are going full-military spec on these vehicles that they are also hustling them off to Skip Barber to give them an idea what to do with them.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jul 21, 2017

    So, what is great or new about this?? Australia back in the 60s used F 100s with 351s as police vehicles. They were very common. If the US wants a pickup police car, why not the Raptor? Our cops use your (better still Aussie) Chev SS'es or as we call them Commodores. They were as common as dog sh!t. Far superior vehicle for police work than a F150 and much faster. F-150s are speed limited to 98mph, even my diesel Mazda midsizer is quicker, 114mph, with lift, nuggety off road tyres, bull bar and other co-efficient drags.,fl_lossy,q_auto,t_cg_hero_low/v1/editorial/dp/albums/album-5786/lg/HSV-GTS-Police-car-4.jpg

    • See 2 previous
    • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jul 22, 2017

      @Scoutdude Who'd want to push a 4x4 pickup above 98 mph for any sustained period of time? Police forces will buy these for rural patrols and urban areas with significant decay or areas facing more harsh winter conditions. I seriously doubt high speed freeway use will ever be a primary purchase metric for one of these trucks.

  • Analoggrotto By the time any of Hyundai's Japanese competitors were this size and age, they produced iconic vehicles which are now highly desirable and going for good money used. But Hyundai/Kia have nothing to this point that anyone will care about in the future. Those 20k over MSRP Tellurides? Worn out junk sitting at the used car lot, worn beyond their actual age. Hyundai/Kia has not had anything comparable to the significance of CVCC, 240Z, Supra, Celica, AE86, RX-(7), 2000GT, Skyline, GT-R, WRX, Evo, Preludio, CRX, Si, Land Cruiser, NSX etc. All of this in those years where Detroiters and Teutonic prejudiced elitists were openly bashing the Japanese with racist derogatory language. Tiger Woods running off the road in a Genesis didn't open up a moment, and the Genesis Sedan featuring in Inception didn't matter any more than the Lincoln MKS showing up for a moment in Dark Knight. Hyundai/Kia are too busy attempting to re-invent others' history for themselves. But hey, they have to start somewhere and the N74 is very cool looking. Hyundai/Kia's biggest fans are auto Journalists who for almost 2 decades have been hyping them up to deafening volumes contributing further distrust in any media.
  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)