Ford previews Explorer Hybrid with new Police Interceptor Utility
The hybrid-powered police SUV will go into production in May 2019.
Steven EwingFormer managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Today, Ford confirmed plans to offer a new Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid -- an electrified version of the Explorer-based police SUV. Specific powertrain details aren't available as of this writing, Ford's press release only saying the hybrid batteries "are specially placed inside the vehicle to so they do not compromise passenger or cargo space" and that "the Police Interceptor Utility hybrid is expected to have a projected EPA-estimated combined label of at least 24 mpg -- approximately 40 percent improvement over the current 3.7-liter V6."
These shadowy images clearly show a lights-ablaze police SUV, but look closely -- this is an all-new Ford Explorer. Ford confirmed as much to Roadshow today, which lines up with earlier reports that suggest a redesigned SUV will launch for the 2020 model year.
"We're going to talk about Explorer later," a Ford spokesperson told Roadshow. "Other than confirming it's a hybrid, we have no additional details to share today."
Police agencies will be able to order the new Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid this summer, and the vehicles will go into production in May 2019. "We'll be able to confirm more powertrain details closer to that date," Ford said.
2018 Ford Explorer remains a competitive 3-row SUV