Yet Another Stakeout: Ford Positions Its Plug-in Fusion As the Cure for Idling Cops

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
yet another stakeout ford positions its plug in fusion as the cure for idling cops

If Lennie Briscoe were alive today, it’s hard to say how the fictional .38-packing NYPD detective would view this break from tradition. He might dryly wonder aloud whether the force faced an easier time cleaning up its fleet than cleaning up the streets, and went with the path of least resistance.

Nevertheless, as the era of the electric police car is already tentatively here, Ford figured it was probably a good time to give detectives, agents, and other plainclothed types their own plug-in option. The automaker has announced a plug-in hybrid version of its Fusion sedan specifically targeted at government and police.

Never has rolling up to that warehouse near the docks been accomplished with such stealth.

The Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, as Ford calls it, it essentially a Ford Fusion Energi with plenty of law enforcement add-ons. It comes less than a year after the introduction of the Fusion Hybrid as a pursuit-rated police vehicle.

There’s no highway patrol duty in this rig’s future, however. When it becomes available next summer, Ford hopes police departments and government agencies snap it up for users who might spend most of their day sitting on a perp, staking out a hangout, examining a crime scene, or just performing daily urban drudgery. Basically, the section of the fleet doing the most idling and the least driving.

Like its civilian sibling, this special service sedan sports a 7.6-kilowatt-hour battery pack and the ability to drive up to 21 miles (and reach speeds of 85 miles per hour) on electric power alone. Ford feels that’s sufficient to boast of potential gas-free workdays. Once the battery exhausts its charge, the vehicle operates as a conventional hybrid, further padding its green bona fides.

“Anyone can plug this in to any wall outlet to run gas- and emissions-free on battery-only operation,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford’s police brand marketing manager, in a statement.

Given the piles of taxpayer cash that flows into precincts each year, adding green vehicles to law enforcement fleets provides a PR boost to both police departments and mayors. However, top brass in both of these worlds would prefer to tell you about the decreased tailpipe emissions, cleaner urban air quality, and annual gasoline savings. As for Ford, the automaker isn’t about to let its already overwhelming 63-percent law enforcement market share dwindle. (The Blue Oval recently offered up its F-150 for police duty.)

Standard on the cop variant of Ford’s Fusion Plug-in Hybrid are front seats with reduced bolsters (thereby making the sit-and-wait lifestyle more comfortable), anti-stab plates for when the stakeout reached its successful conclusion, vinyl rear seats and flooring, and many mounting plates for lights, computers and other gear. If the car’s owners expect it to see plenty of action, there’s a spotlight, trunk storage vault, trunk ventilation system, and rear door control-disabling feature available as an option. Operators can also dim the whole package with a go-dark button for lights-free stealth.

While fleet sales don’t generate the kind of profit automakers boast about, having civilian green car fans see the Fusion Plug-in in a hard-edged role won’t curt. Certainly, Ford’s Fusion Energy needs the boost.

U.S. Fusion Energi sales sank 46 percent in October, year-over-year, with the tally over the first 10 months of 2017 coming in 38.4 percent lower than the same period last year.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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  • EBFlex EBFlex on Nov 21, 2017

    Makes sense. If nobody buys them at retail prices, fleet dump them to try and recover some of the investment. City garages will love working on them too.

  • Reuleaux Reuleaux on Nov 21, 2017

    Can the battery run the AC and heat? If not, or not for long, I don't really see the point.

    • Scoutdude Scoutdude on Nov 22, 2017

      Yes that is the point of this over the standard hybrid, both have electric AC compressors but the plug in adds a resistive heater to provide battery powered heat. Once the plug-in range has been depleted it will work as the regular hybrid and cycle the engine on and off as needed to recharge the battery and keep a minimum level of heat in the engine. Depending on how extreme the temps are it might run 10-20% of the time. Last winter I got stuck in our Escape Hybrid for about a hour and a half when and the temps were in the low 30's. Lights, wipers, radio, heater set on 70 and I saw the range drop only 4 miles in all that time.

  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).
  • Master Baiter New slogan in the age of Ford EVs:FoundOnRoadDischarged
  • Albert Also owned a 1959 Continental Mark IV coupe for 20 years and loved every minute!