Repost from USA Today

Ford just took the wraps off its next-generation police car,showing it off as a concept to a group of invited police brass at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Okay, so it’s a Taurus. But not in Ford parlance. Now it is the "all-new, purpose-built Police Interceptor sedan" that will carry on the "durability, safety, performance and fuel economy of the industry’s leading police car – the Ford Crown Victoria."

ON DRIVE ON’S FORUM: How does this Taurus police car stack up compared to Chevy and Dodge’s crimebusters?


By Ford, Wieck

Get this: It will only come in a V-6 with a turbocharger, not a V-8. But before you think you can escape Old Smokey, consider that the big engine will put out 365 horsepower, 115 better than the old V-8 on the Crown Victoria it replaces late next year.

Why does Ford lead its release by talking about durability? Because the big concern about this car is front wheel drive. Although the rest of us have driven it for a zillion years, hidebound cops have always preferred big, rear-wheel-drive, body-on-frame sedans because they can take an around-the-clock beating.

Still, if Ford is right, this could be an awesome cop car:

Like the Crown Victoria, the new Taurus-based police car can withstand a 75 mile-per-hour rear-end collision. It will have side-curtain airbags to protect in case of rollovers. continuing Ford’s safety leadership includes engineering the Police Interceptor to pass 75-mph rear-end crash testing. Currently, the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is the only pursuit sedan to meet this test.

The base engine will be 25% more fuel thrifty than the one it replaces and at 263 horsepower, will be more powerful than the old Crown Vic’s power plant.

"Police nationwide asked for a new kind of weapon in the battle for public safety, and Ford is answering the call with a purpose-built vehicle – engineered and built in America – that’s as dynamic as it is durable," said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas.

Ford is trying hard to point out the little touches that have been put in the car especially for police. They include a column-mounted shifter so it doesn’t get in the way of the computers and other equipment in the console and special seats than can accommodate officers with bulky gunbelts.

Other touches:

  • Blind spot detection. The system uses two radar sensors located in the rear quarter panels to detect vehicles in the surrounding lanes. If a vehicle enters the driver’s blind-spot zones, the system alerts the driver with a warning light in the side-view mirror.
  • Cross traffic alert.  This system uses the existing radar modules to sense oncoming traffic when slowly backing out of a parking spot.
  • Rear view camera: Just like in the family SUV.
  • Ford SYNC: The Ford-exclusive, hands-free information system has the potential to be customized and remapped to work specifically with police aftermarket equipment such as lights and sirens, allowing officers to focus on the task at hand.
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