Roadshow Video Reviews
New Ford Police InterceptorsAs the Crown Vic fades out, Ford calls on Taurus and Edge to wear the light bar.
You know, when I reviewed cop cars at CNET car deck the more is the pity because they're kind of cool with all kinds of interesting tech that other cars don't have. The Crown Vic, the most popular police car, is going out of production. Now Ford is proposing that Fleet is used to replace it. It's a tourist-based police interceptor. And although if you took off the gear and painted in one color, they might look pretty ordinary. They're a lot of different things going on here. Let me tell you about a few of them. First of all, a car like this is emphasizing durability. It has the idle all damn day long, has to be able to get a 75-mile per hour rear-end collision and maintaining safety and integrity for the officers. They have a lot of common parts on this so whether do you have this or that Utility version over there just about all the maintenance items of the exact same part, even though they're different cars and actually have somewhat different engines and all V6 now, no more police interceptors with V8 because today's V6 does what yesterday's V8 did and probably quite a bit more. Now, beefier usually means heavier. You don't want that in a car. We are trying to get better fuel efficiency to save government's money as well as drive this thing on a V6. So, hoods are now aluminum, also the pillars are boron steel, a stronger yet lighter steel, a little pricey here, but there's a reason for that. Ford even pre-drills this hole because these cars have to deal with very exacting roof crush, different types of test. Ford even drills this hole for the light itself in a perfect precise spot because these vehicles have to handle some very stringent roll-over in collision-collapse tests. And if they don't get that just right, it will break and fold away too easily. Let's go inside. Now, the inside of a police interceptor's probably the part you don't wanna see in your lifetime. So, let me show it for you here on the show floor. First of all, notice the seat bolsters here. They're actually kind of flat because when you got the [unk] on and a couple of clips and some pepper spray in your weapon, you'll be dragging this thing all day long. Cops hate that. So, they've shaved this down even though you might think it holds them in place less, but you got this grippy kind of utility fabric that will help with that. Up here on the wheel either on this version or one that has the Myford Touch controllers on each side, you'll find especially buttons for things like lights, siren, and PA you wouldn't have that on your Taurus. Oh here's a great spotter's tip, if you wanna know if a Taurus or one of those utilities was actually originally built as a police interceptor, here's the dead giveaway, column shifter. They don't offer column shifters anymore on regular retail cars. That's a police thing only and they do that because they wanna leave this area here clear for a Police Department installed console full of their gear. Brian Tong, pull over to the side with your hands up and the product in your hair. That's easy. And up here where there's normally what, a little sunglass binnacle-type thing, they've taken that out and put in a flat place to mount things like forward-looking sensor for speed guns. Now you think Taurus is a significantly smaller car than a Crown Vic, at least it prints that way, but I got to see when you pull out the console you got a lot of space in here. In fact, there's plenty room back here for the weapon rack. Imagine those are replicas. Now, the changes continue in the backseat as well. This door opens like 70 something degrees wider than the standard Taurus, which these cars based on. So, when they're rammed your uncle in the backseat here you won't bonk his head so rarely, also a very simple, very clean 1 piece plastic door panel. If somebody wants to be generous and share his bodily fluids, we can take care of that later with not too much muss and fuss. Now, sport-utility police cars have been fairly rare in the past. Ford now tried pushing this really hard alongside the Sedan as well and then of course you got cars like this, which don't look like police cars until that happens, yeah. That's how BT and I would roll when we do, you know, CSI CNET. This is a concept of a detective or federal car that I love. Standard motor in the Sedan of 3.5 L V6, the Utility gets a 3.7. It's also available with a 3.5 Ecoboost. That's the twin turbo with 365 horsepower. A re-shape of all the shift points, the transmission, the suspension, heavy duty so is the braking, so is the cooling and by the way all the new police interceptors, Sedan or Utility, are all all-wheel drive now. It makes a lot easier for the police to focus on the perp and not only keeping their car from fishtailing. I think episodes of cops may look different in the future. Airbags are mounted differently, so they don't deploy into mounted gear and caused problems and ballistic door panels keep the bullets out to some degree. These cars would be coming in the Police Fleets mid-to-late 2011 because the bids begin right around July. Most governments are on that midyear start of their fiscal year when they start to go out and buy new cars for their Fleets. This gonna take many years for all the Crown Vic to watch out, but in the meantime, you might start wanting to get used to a different profile in your rearview mirror to watch out for.