This week the cover was pulled off the new Ford 2016 Police Interceptor Utility at the Chicago Auto Show, giving rear view mirrors around America a new face to watch out for.
Based on the new 2016 Ford Explorer, the Police Interceptor Utility will likely continue to be the best selling police vehicle in America, with currently 55% of the market since it was introduced in 2012.
For 2016 Ford will continue to offer a 304 horsepower 3.7-liter V6 standard, an engine not available in the consumer Explorer. Optional is the 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 with 365 horsepower. Both engines are standard with all-wheel drive.
An interesting feature with these is the Pursuit Mode for its six-speed automatic transmission. When it detects aggressive braking and turning it automatically adjusts up-shift and downshift behavior to be much tighter.
It’s also tuned to perform a reverse J-turn or Rockford Turn. If ya don’t know, that’s reversing then spinning 180 degrees and continuing forward.
Ford also leverages special programming for their blind-spot sensing and other radar-based systems to provide additional safety features for officers on the line. In surveillance mode, it can roll up windows and lock doors when someone approaches from behind.
While all these features are exciting, interesting is how the Police Interceptor Utilities are actually built. Because of the wide variety of equipment levels and packages police departments need, the mix is too complex for the standard assembly line.
So, once the basic vehicles are built at the Chicago Assembly Plant, they’re shipped a mile down the road to Ford’s Troy Design & Manufacturing facility where they are upfitted with various levels of law enforcement equipment.
The facility employs 200 workers who hand install up to 125 different components from spot lights, graphic wraps, and interior equipment like storage racks, cages and communications gear.
The 2016 Police Interceptor Utility for instance offers police agencies up to 25 different lighting options. And for 2016, they offer a fully integrated lighting package which has LED wig-wags built into the grille and fascia.
They even install optional Level III ballistic shielding in the driver and passenger doors for additional protection against gunfire
Troy Design & Manufacturing last year installed over 269,000 components into 36,000 Ford Police Interceptor Utilities and Sedans which have been exported all around the world.
The 2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility will be rolling out onto our streets later this year so keep an eye on your review-view mirror for it.