The Ford Explorer based Police Interceptor Utility is fast becoming a familiar face in cities and on highways around the country.

A recent report shows that more and more police fleets are choosing SUV’s over sedans for their new pursuit vehicles, a trend backed up by Ford’s sales numbers.

Ford sold almost twice as many Police Interceptor utility vehicles last month as they did the Taurus based Police Interceptor.

And to keep that momentum going, Ford has announced that for 2014 it will make the fire-breathing twin-turbo 365 horsepower 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 available in the Police Interceptor Utility.

Bringing all the latest high-tech together, the engine has twin-turbochargers with intercooling, dual overhead cams with variable valve timing, and direct fuel-injection. Ford has shown its long term endurance and durability in several models since 2010.

In fact the engine has been available in the Ford Explorer Sport already with all-wheel drive, so it seemed natural that given more and more police agencies are opting for SUV’s they’d be asking for more horsepower.

Ford says it’s simply responding to the requests and needs of its base of fleet customers. Highway Patrol from California and Nevada needed a vehicle that had the extra space as well as the power to cross vast sections of freeway quickly.

With the new EcoBoost engine available it places the Ford Police Interceptor Utility at the top of the choice list with vehicles like the Chevrolet Tahoe.

The Tahoe does offer a rear-wheel drive biased chassis and a V8, but has a much more top heavy driving character that many officers say gives white knuckles in pursuit situations.

With standard all-wheel drive the 3.5 liter EcoBoost option might be a bit pricier than the standard unit but will likely serve a need in wide open space. The new EcoBoost option comes along side the standard 3.7 liter V6 which already has a healthy 304 horsepower.

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