The sudden arrival of summer in this writer’s neck of the woods had two beneficial impacts. First, I’m able to work shirtless and, secondly, I can be assured that the harsh sun and 90-plus degree temps will scrub the rona from my car’s interior just by leaving it parked outside all day. Helps lower the Lysol budget.
Of course, summer can be all too brief, and sometimes a person doesn’t have all day to wait for ambient heat to melt the lipid outer layer of your average coronavirus. Ford has a solution that, while not great for the environment, will at least bring peace of mind to law enforcement officers.
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.
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s probe into reports of exhaust gasses leaking into the cabin of certain Ford Explorers continues, the company doesn’t have to worry about the brakes on its law enforcement variants anymore.
After launching an investigation into front brake hose failures — at the request of the Sacramento Police Department — in 2015, the NHTSA returned the verdict this week. Nothing inherently wrong with those front stoppers, it said. It seems the Sacramento PD really, really pushes its vehicles in pursuit training.
North America’s romantic entanglement with the sport utility vehicle is not limited to retail consumers, as police fleets in the United States and Canada have been getting in on the action for a while now. Valuing durability and flexibility above all else, law enforcement’s gradual shift toward SUVs seems to have been inevitable.
Ford said that sales of its Explorer-based Interceptor Utility surpassed its Taurus-based Interceptor Sedan in 2014, claiming that the SUV had “officially” become North America’s most popular police vehicle. While that might not be entirely accurate until current fleets retire the horde of large sedans that proved so popular in the past, the utility trend is growing and departments have plenty of praise for them — especially departments rife with oversized officers.
One of the late Ford Crown Victoria’s best attributes was its unique turn signal/parking lamps, which, when viewed in a rear-view mirror, alerted savvy drivers to the possibility that there could be a police officer on their tail. Or a retiree. Either way, best to slow down, pardner.
Today, drivers don’t have that luxury of instant nighttime recognition, and police forces and suppliers are increasingly making it harder to distinguish a lurking cop car during the day. Well, Ford has now brought the stealthiness to another level.
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