Ford's new police Explorer aimed to dominate law enforcement

The fastest cop car is an SUV.

Ford’s latest Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility put in the best overall performance at the most recent Michigan State Police vehicle evaluations. The turbocharged model beating even the Dodge Charger sports sedans in acceleration, top speed and track lapping evaluations.

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The 2020 Interceptor Utility is an all-new model that Ford hopes will maintain its dominance in the law enforcement market, where it sold more of the outgoing version than every other vehicle combined last year. The automaker putting over 33,000 into service across the country.

Along with the Fusion Hybrid, F-150, Expedition and Taurus-based Interceptor Sedan, the Interceptor Utility helped Ford claim two-thirds of the law enforcement vehicle segment in 2018. With the sedan now out of production as Ford continues to shift its lineup away from cars, the SUV is going to have to pull even more of its weight.

To do that, Ford has completely redesigned the Explorer, switching from a front-wheel-drive platform to a rear-wheel-drive one to improve refinement and performance. The police version comes standard with all-wheel-drive and offers a choice of three powertrains, all pursuit-rated.

There’s the top of the line 400 hp 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, an entry-level 3.3-liter V6 and a hybrid version of the 3.3-liter in the middle that Ford is positioning as the standard trim level at a price around $41,000. The turbo is $1,000 more and the 3.3-liter $3,500 less.

The hybrid puts out 318 hp and delivers 24 mpg combined. Its battery pack can also power the air conditioner and all of the typical electronic equipment needed in a police car while it’s parked, only needing to run the engine 20 percent of the time compared to a conventional cruiser.


Deliveries of the Interceptor Utility are scheduled to start in July with the civilian versions of the Explorer, and total sales will likely crack the 250,000 mark, so you should be seeing a lot of them soon.

Hopefully not in your rearview mirror with the red and blue lights on.