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2016 Ford Police Interceptor Utility is ready to tackle Chicago's mean streets
Feb 11th 2015
Brandon Turkus

As is the way of things, when a civilian vehicle gets a significant update, it's only a matter of time before its police counterpart gets similar upgrades. In the case of the Ford Police Interceptor Utility, it's debuting with the same visual updates as the Explorer on which it's based, at this week's 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

Like the civilian-market Explorer, the PI Utility is available with a standard 3.7-liter V6 that pumps out 304 horsepower and 279 pound-feet of torque. The higher-caliber option is the tried and true 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, complete with 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. The standard Explorer's optional 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, meanwhile, won't be offered to the boys in blue. Regardless of engine, the Utility enjoys standard all-wheel-drive, as well as a six-speed automatic transmission. The tranny's default setting is primarily for fuel sipping, although if it detects more aggressive inputs – based on brake line pressure, deceleration and lateral acceleration rates – it switches over to Pursuit Mode, offering officers snappier upshifts and more aggressive downshifts.

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Every time I see one of these Taurus station wagons out on the street, it just pisses me off that GM has again let someone else take the public service business away......
 
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Every time I see one of these Taurus station wagons out on the street, it just pisses me off that GM has again let someone else take the public service business away......
I don't see this as taking anything away form GM's existing PD business.
More and more PD s are seeing the PI Ute as a better replacement for the Crown Victoria PI than the (Taurus) Pi sedan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Every time I see one of these Taurus station wagons out on the street, it just pisses me off that GM has again let someone else take the public service business away......
I don't see this as taking anything away form GM's existing PD business.
More and more PD s are seeing the PI Ute as a better replacement for the Crown Victoria PI than the (Taurus) Pi sedan.
Obviously the police departments out there like the Explorer. Ford took their time to upgrade the Explorer for police duty, and you have to give them credit for making a compelling product. The fact that so many departments not only use the PI Utility kind of underlines that they've "shifted" police perception that a mainstay cruiser doesn't have to be a sedan (or the Taurus PI would be selling in better numbers).

However, a better question is, why isn't GM trying to play in this field? I've said it in the past in other threads, but if I were working at GM, I'd be looking to make a version of the Traverse (or Acadia) fit for police duty.

When Ford launched the PI Utility, it wasn't just done to replace the Crown Vic. It was also being done to address "budgetary" matters that police and other law enforcement agencies were/are continuing to face. Though the price of gasoline has fallen for the moment, a lot of departments have had to deal with austerity measure in light of gasoline prices cutting into their budgets. As such, they needed something that was both capable and decent on gasoline. Lighter, unibody products that were "suped up" for police duty have filled that role. If a cruiser was needed to just "patrol" town, you could get it with the base engine and FWD. If it was needed for pursuit or added capability, you could get it with AWD and the turbocharged engine. The fact that there was a lot of "plug and play" in the formula helped to make the case that this was a flexible product that could serve multiple roles.

And what about GM? Do they have the "new" Caprice? Sure. Do they still offer a version of the Tahoe for police duty? Absolutely.

But if the "market is moving on", and Ford has "created a new police" segment by beefing up a unibody crossover SUV for municipalities, then why wouldn't GM follow suit and do the same? At the very least, they should augment their offerings with something like a PI Traverse to give departments an additional option when looking to fill their fleet.

It's just my opinion, but I think they're missing an opportunity.
The Tahoe police cruiser looks much more menacing!
No doubt about it, the Tahoe police cruiser looks mean.

However, I would argue that the Tahoe is "overkill" for non-highway cruiser duty. It's a very capable product, but for local municipal work, it's a "bit much" for routine traffic stops and such.

I know a few cops and we've talked about this phenomenon in different circumstances. One thing that they all seem to say is that, how something "looks" can create a lot of havoc for a police department and municipal authorities. If you have a fleet of Tahoes for cruiser duty, it seems like you're bringing a cannon to a gun fight. Rather, you need something that's more "appropriate" for everyday needs --- or taxpayers get upset. For instance, at every town council meeting there are senior citizens on limited budgets, working families trying to make ends meet, and other budget hawks who are sitting in the audience waiting to ask why "you needed to buy" X, Y, and Z. Most of the time, you can explain things away as necessary, etc. But if a department doesn't make a seemingly "economical" choice in purchasing equipment, it comes off like you're being excessive with taxpayer dollars.

Let me give you one more example (in a different context). Mercedes has the Sprinter van. Great product; very capable. A local town in North Jersey purchased such a van for the civic center to transport senior citizens to/from the town's senior center. It's a great product for that purpose. However, because they bought the Mercedes version -- rather than the Freightliner badged variant of the same product -- town folks went crazy. Now the price of the Freightliner vs. the Benz version are nearly identical. But it doesn't make a difference. It's the image that it conjures up that creates headaches for town officials.

So in this regard, I can see why there is a need for something "in between" a cruiser sedan and a full-on SUV like the Tahoe. Is it more capable? Yup. Does it have a great engine and lots of room for emergency equipment? Sure. But if you need something that has a little of everything, then perhaps a smaller crossover like the Explorer fits the bill.

And like I said above, I just wish GM would realize this and have something to offer police departments that comparable.
 

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correction GM GAVE IT AWAY when they cancelled the caprice
This is a market in which GM has to seriously get back into, and try to take it away from Ford. Many ignorant peoples think cities buy Ford vehicles because GM can not build them tough enough. Some of those ignorant people end up buying Fords instead of a GM product. Those Ford police vehicles also serves as a great way to advertise, which GM is missing on. We see this on TV all the time.
 

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Every time I see one of these Taurus station wagons out on the street, it just pisses me off that GM has again let someone else take the public service business away......
Sorry - Total Recall Motors has never taken this segment seriously - EVER - Ford has - deal with it. Leaders leader. Others kill their customers.
 

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Problem for GM: The Tahoe is not "pursuit" rated, only "special service" rated - so departments are going to the utility of the Explorer, which IS 'pursuit' rated. Tahoes are relegated to specialist officers (K9, Evidence Techs) who are usually disbarred from pursuing due to their extra cargo / expense. Also, with all the downsizing of cars, many of my guys don't even fit in the Taurus (especially with the ballistic package / the door has a tether that limits the size of its opening), so the Explorer is the natural go-to: pursuit rated and big enough to carry us and our stuff (especially in MI winters / 4x4).
-a boy in blue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Problem for GM: The Tahoe is not "pursuit" rated, only "special service" rated - so departments are going to the utility of the Explorer, which IS 'pursuit' rated. Tahoes are relegated to specialist officers (K9, Evidence Techs) who are usually disbarred from pursuing due to their extra cargo / expense. Also, with all the downsizing of cars, many of my guys don't even fit in the Taurus (especially with the ballistic package / the door has a tether that limits the size of its opening), so the Explorer is the natural go-to: pursuit rated and big enough to carry us and our stuff (especially in MI winters / 4x4).
-a boy in blue.
Good information.

I hadn't even considered the ballistics package. That's true too.

However, how are the doors tethered? And what is the rationale behind limiting how much the door can open? Is it just so the door doesn't open too wide when pulling someone over?
 

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Ford's police utility team has out-performed GM ever since they foolishly stopped production of the 9C1 Caprice in 1996. The new Australian Caprice, although very capable, is never going to gain traction because of its Australian production, the Tahoe pursuit package is finally available in 4WD but slower and less responsive than the Explorer 3.5 Ecoboost. It is also more expensive. The Impala 9C1 is cheap and OK for urban/administrative use but is universally hated by cops. I believe the best bet for GM is to create a Traverse 9C1, as many here have indicated.
 

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GM handed Ford the police business after 1996. The current Caprice PPV is a great police car but it's built in Australia in limited supply and it ain't cheap.

GM needs to build that thing here in the states and drop the price by 10 grand.
 

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Problem for GM: The Tahoe is not "pursuit" rated, only "special service" rated - so departments are going to the utility of the Explorer, which IS 'pursuit' rated. Tahoes are relegated to specialist officers (K9, Evidence Techs) who are usually disbarred from pursuing due to their extra cargo / expense. Also, with all the downsizing of cars, many of my guys don't even fit in the Taurus (especially with the ballistic package / the door has a tether that limits the size of its opening), so the Explorer is the natural go-to: pursuit rated and big enough to carry us and our stuff (especially in MI winters / 4x4).
-a boy in blue.
The 2WD Tahoe has offered a "pursuit rated" version for years, while 4WD were "special services" rated only.

As of 2015, that has changed and the 4WD Tahoe is now available as "pursuit rated" along with the continued availability of the 2WD "pursuit rated" and 4WD "special services" versions.
 

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One thing that they all seem to say is that, how something "looks" can create a lot of havoc for a police department and municipal authorities.
On a similar note, our town has switched to the Chargers and went from silver (on the Crown Vics) to traditional black and white. They said the reason for the color was that they felt the traditional color scheme was reminiscent of the old days or what was perceived as a simpler time and hoped it would make the police seem more approachable. They were going for the opposite of intimidating.
 

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However, how are the doors tethered? And what is the rationale behind limiting how much the door can open? Is it just so the door doesn't open too wide when pulling someone over?
You can order an armor package from Ford that puts additional armor / Kevlar in the door itself. However, the door's weight is increased dramatically. They put the tether on the door so that, over time, we don't snap the hinges by swinging that extra weight, over and over again, against the jam/hinges.
SO, in essence the tether kicks in before the hinges take the strain to stop the door at full-open, thus reducing opening width. I'm sure it's on the internet somewhere. In practice, it was a pain - and MAN was that door heavy!
 
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