2020 Ford Explorer Again Appears in Cop Clothing

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
2020 ford explorer again appears in cop clothing

After rocking the same design with only minor alterations since 2011, Ford will soon debut an all-new Explorer. Arriving this year as a 2020 model, the model adopts the modular CD6 platform shared with Lincoln’s Aviator, making the new version of the venerable SUV rear-drive biased once again. New powerplants are also on the way.

Before we lay eyes on the new ute, however, Ford wants to show us, once again, the Explorer’s law enforcement brother: the Police Interceptor Utility, which the company first revealed under the cloak of darkness last June. We now have light. A wildly common sight on North American roads, the new version of the copped-up Explorer is all about nabbing bad guys … and saving departments money. The vehicle you see here arrives with a standard hybrid drivetrain.

It’s a pursuit-rated vehicle, so the hybridized rig isn’t a slouch. With standard gas-electric operation and all-wheel drive, Ford wants this vehicle to be the reason agencies around the country ditch their Chargers and Tahoes.

In Michigan State Police testing, Ford claims the hybrid Police Interceptor Utility ran away from the pack, besting even V8 offerings from other brands. The new rig beats the outgoing 3.7-liter model by 1.1 seconds in a 0-60 dash, and by 4.7 seconds in a run up to 100 mph. Top speed is 137 mph. The automaker states that in terms of 0-100 acceleration, lap time, average lap speed, and top speed, the eco cruiser can’t be beat. Well, except by another, hotter variant of the same vehicle.

While remaining stingy with specs, Ford says the standard setup is a 3.3-liter dual-injection V6 coupled to an electric motor and a 10-speed automatic, leaving the system’s combined horsepower and torque a mystery. The vehicle can also be ordered with the 3.3L sans electrification, or with the twin-turbo 3.0-liter Ecoboost V6 found in the upcoming Explorer ST and Aviator. The 3.3L found in Ford’s F-150 makes 290 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque, while the twin-turbo Lincoln generates an even 400 hp and 400 lb-ft.

In hybrid guise, the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery doesn’t consume any additional cabin space, nor will it electrocute nearby fish while traversing 18 inches of water at 15 mph.

Speaking of green, Ford’s banking on departments wanting to save some. Citing an estimated combined fuel economy of 24 mpg, Ford claims the Police Interceptor Utility, in normal fleet duty, stands to save departments $3,500 a year in fuel costs (based on pump prices of $2.75 a gallon). If fuel prices climb, and yours truly sure hopes they don’t, the savings will obviously be higher.

As you can see in these front-angle-only images (and the artificially lightened ones we published in June), the 2020 Explorer doesn’t entirely depart from the previous model’s familiar shape. However, the revamp has lent the vehicle a slightly more athletic stance. Its face now has more in common with the refreshed Edge. Meanwhile, there’s a host of technological advancements designed to help protect officers, which we detailed in the earlier piece.

The release of new images of the 2020 Police Interceptor Utility comes five days before the 2020 Explorer’s pre-auto show debut in Detroit on January 9th.

[Images: Ford Motor Company]

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  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Jan 05, 2019

    Yup. Got zapped and followed by an NJSP version yesterday, marked. Sadly it had HID lights, so it was the first cop car I've ever seen that didn't have base halogen lights....the night profile is civilian. He followed up for 5 miles or so, rolled by, and seeing a middle aged couple ignored us further....

  • Mpzz Mpzz on Jan 06, 2019

    How many times are cops going to need to go 137mph? Most cops worry about being comfortable and having enough room for two people in front along with all the equipment that rides up there with them. And a body on frame vehicle is always going to stand up better to the beating a police car takes than a unibody. The Tahoe wins on every functional level, with the price being the only limiting factor.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.