The Fuzz. The Five-O. The Cops. Whatever your nickname of choice may be, all of us with custom rides are keenly aware of the presence of police. We’ve all played the speed-up-slow-down-turn-here game to avoid police encounters – encounters perceived or imminent. We know the streets to avoid and have stories of confrontation with authority. While the police normally pay diligent attention to what we drive, let’s reverse it and pay attention to what they drive by looking at some recent test results, even if it is just for the sake of knowing what to look for in the rear view mirror. How do today's police vehicles stack up against each other?
Things have sure changed a lot since Ford first introduced police service models in 1950. From the Crown Victoria introduced in 1983 to the new sedan (Taurus) and utility (Explorer) Police Interceptor vehicles introduced in 2012, technology has transformed these vehicles into technologically advanced mobile command powerhouses. Most recently in 2013, the 3.5L EcoBoost was added as a powerful option, as was a fuel-efficient 2.0L EcoBoost non-pursuit sedan. The Ford fleet seems to be setting a trend among police agencies because of its intelligent all-wheel-drive system and because of the spacious SUV utility option. Los Angeles Sheriff Department (LASD) certification tests recently showed that performance and handling don’t need to be sacrificed for the added space and versatility of the all-wheel drive utility Explorer.
The LASD testing also showed off the assets of the all-wheel drive sedan 2014 Ford Police Interceptor equipped with an EcoBoost, as it outperformed its V8 competitors with a 0-100 mph time of 14.2 seconds compared to the all-wheel drive 5.7-liter V8 Hemi Dodge Charger (15.2 seconds) and 6.0-liter V8 Chevrolet Caprice (14.4 seconds). Agility and handling also resulted in the EcoBoost sedan having a 0.7-second faster average lap time advantage over the Caprice and 0.9-second advantage over the Dodge Charger.
Results for the all-wheel drive Police Interceptor EcoBoost utility also proved it quicker and more nimble than its 5.3-liter V8 Chevrolet Tahoe competition. The EcoBoost utility went 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds compared to the Tahoe’s 8.5 seconds, and 0-100 mph in 18.3 seconds compared to the Tahoe’s 26.4 seconds. On the road course, the EcoBoost was 6.1 seconds faster per average lap than the Tahoe. Interestingly, the Ford Police Interceptor utility police vehicle now represents 60 percent of Ford police vehicle sales, showing the SUV's popularity.
While the EcoBoost Ford Police Interceptor vehicles may be able to boast a little in some of the numbers categories, Chevrolet and its Police Patrol Vehicles (PPV) have some accolades of their own, for example, the Caprice PPV’s top speed of 154 mph and the Impala PPV’s largest trunk volume. On the horizon, and teased now as a concept, is the 2015 Chevy Tahoe PPV. Adorned with emergency lighting, police equipment, enhanced safety features, and full-pursuit capabilities in addition to everything else the redesigned Tahoe will offer, this 5.3L SUV should be a fine machine for police use.
What do the police in your area drive? Is it an Impala, Caprice, or Tahoe? Or a Taurus or Explorer? Or Charger? Would these vehicles outperform yours? (Not that you’d ever test that!) Have you noticed an increase in police SUV vehicles in your area?