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Strong acceleration is important, it’s useful when merging onto a crowded expressway or towing a heavy trailer through the mountains. Speed is especially important for police vehicles as it gives law enforcement officers the power to take down bad guys. But who has the fastest cop car?
When Size Matters
Large and in charge. Big is beautiful. Size matters. Yes, there are endless clichés to support the notion that the bigger something is, the better it is. In the automotive kingdom, some vehicles not only adhere to this philosophy, but redefine it. We aren’t talking the puny realm of offerings like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry or even Dodge Charger. No, this is for the serious four wheeled hippos. The cars where it is more fun to be in the backseat than the front seat.
If you have more money to burn than the average NFL Quarterback, then there are some serious vehicles you can buy that are seriously long. How about the 220.9-inch Phantom Coupe? Not long enough for you? You could upsize to the 239.8-inch Phantom extended-wheelbase sedan, or maybe the 242.7-inch Maybach 62?
But for the rest of us mere mortals, there are some sizable vehicles out there under $100,000. Heck, two of the top ten are even under $30,000. So we will now present to you the top ten vehicles that are longer than The Hobbit.
Ford started building police variants of the LTD Crown Victoria in 1979, by 1992 the company’s cars evolved from modified civilian sedans to law enforcement machines.
Agencies are looking for something more fuel efficient options than the aging Crown Victoria’s and the 14 mpg city and 21 mpg highway rating from its thirsty V8 as municipal budgets shrink with the rocky U.S. economy.
Ford says the the next generation Interceptors address that concern and offer significantly improved fuel efficiency. The Taurus-based Interceptor sedan gets 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, a 4.5 mpg average improvement over the previous Interceptor. During 10-hour shifts of Police duty, police cars idle for approximately 6.7 hours of the duration so Ford has made improvements on idle consumption as well. The latest Taurus Interceptor will also use 35 percent less fuel at idle thanks to its smaller displacement 3.5 liter V6 engine.
What’s more, the Explorer-based Interceptor SUV achieves an estimated 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway, a best-in-class figure for police spec utility vehicles.
Ford managed to keep performance intact, despite the improved efficiency. A 3.5-liter V6 is used for both vehicles, producing 288 hp. That translates to a 38-hp gain over the outgoing V8.
During 0-60 runs, results show that the V6 Ford Explorer Interceptor Utility can reach 60 mph one full second faster than the competing V8 Chevrolet Tahoe PPV.
An Eco-Boost turbocharged 3.5 liter V6 producing 365-hp is available as an option as well. Combined with all-wheel-drive, the powerful Ford police vehicle out-accelerates competitors from Dodge and Chevrolet.
The Chicago police department ordered and will soon take delivery of approximately 500 Ford Police Interceptors this year, making the city the first to field test Ford’s ne enforcement vehicles.
GALLERY: Ford Taurus, Ford Explorer Interceptor
According to 14 Taurus owners, the Ford Taurus has experienced incidents of stuck throttle due to cruise control cable detachment.
NHTSA revealed that most complaints described that the Taurus would experience, “engine speeds as high as approximately 4,000rpm after shifting into Park or Neutral”. Drivers noted that a shift into neutral or an engine shut off was necessary to effectively slow the vehicle down.
Although there are no reported accidents or injuries, one incident involved a Ford Taurus driver who allegedly went through a red light, partially crossing the intersection before he could stop the vehicle. “This is an extremely dangerous situation,” the driver wrote. “There needs to be something done about this before it becomes fatal.”
According to NHTSA, “A Preliminary Evaluation has been opened to assess the scope, frequency, and safety-related consequences of the alleged defect.” Interestingly, Ford Taurus mechanical twin Mercury Sable is not a part of the investigation.
More information and details from Ford and the NHTSA will be available as the investigation continues.
GALLERY: 2005 Ford Taurus
After serving for more than 30 years, the Ford Crown Victoria has established a sterling reputation as the police car of choice. Ford is ending production of the Crown Vic Police Interceptor at the company’s St. Thomas, Ontario, factory and despite stopping sales of Crown Vics to consumers in 2008, Ford continues to make them available to fleets.
Sales to law enforcement agencies have been increasing as Ford prepares to launch new police vehicles based on the Taurus and Explorer. Through the first seven months of the year, Crown Vic sales are up 64 percent to 35,203 units. The Crown Vic enjoyed widespread success due to its two bench, six passenger seating layout and gearshift mounted on the steering column. The vehicle was introduced in 1983 and was the top choice of law enforcement in 1996-2010. The Crown Vic’s death was further pushed by the federal government requiring automakers to boost their average fuel economy to 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016 and to 54 mpg by 2025. The Crown Vic’s 16 mpg city mileage is not very appealing, nor efficient.
Currently, the Crown Vic makes up about 70 percent of the police vehicle market, but Ford’s new offerings aren’t being warmly received by police departments. One officer told the Detroit Free Press that he was stocking up on Crown Vic’s, as the new Ford offerings were inadequate for their needs. The officer stated that the Dodge Charger and Chevrolet Caprice were being looked at, something Ford does not want to happen.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
Ford is planning to blitz the auto-market for the first quarter of 2012. According to a source inside Ford, no less than eight all-new or refreshed models will start production for Q1.
Ford’s largest project is the all-new midsize Fusion/Mondeo, which is currently scheduled to start production in January. Ford hopes for a 50-percent sales improvement for the Fusion in North America, which may help it exceed the 30,000 units per-month sales mark. With a new Fusion comes a new Fusion Hybrid and Ford is targeting an impressive 47 to 48-mpg rating in the city.
Also coming is a new Escape, which is being replaced by the Ford Vertrek Concept, with production out of the Louisville, Kentucky plant. The C-Max Hybrid will also begin production later this year.
The 2013 Taurus, which debuted back at the New York Auto Show in April with a face lift and new base 4-cylinder engine, will also launch during the first quarter of 2012. The Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS and MKT will also gain face-lifts during the Q1 for a more modern look.
Ford will re-ignite the hot hatch segment in Q1 with a new Focus ST that will feature a 247-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
Both the Ford Taurus Police Interceptor and and Explorer “PI” will replace the Crown Victoria and the Lincoln MKT Town Car will replace the Lincoln Town Car.
Europe will gain the all-new B-Max and South America will gain the EcoSport. The B-Max will come equipped with the highly anticipated turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine.
By the end of 2012, the oldest vehicles in the Ford lineup will be the Ford Edge and the Lincoln MKX, which recently underwent major overhauls themselves
[Source: Ford Inside News]
So the new Ford Taurus was only introduced last year. Why, then, did Ford refresh it for 2013 at the New York Auto Show—why go through all that effort now? Because, according to Ford head design honcho J Mays, the new front end is supposed to showcase Ford’s new global look, and the Mondeo and Falcon are gonna nab a piece of it.
Yes, for once the Ford global look sets its standards from America, not Europe or Australia. The new corporate look, said Mays, will still allow these three diverse sedans to retain their own character. The design elements can be altered to create subtle or aggressive looks across a model range. And the trapezoid grille was influenced by those from Audi—where J Mays used to hang his hat.
New six-speed automatic transmission mated to 268hp 3.5-liter V6
Thanks to Ford’s new Global Product Development System the company was able to bring the new Taurus to market 12 months sooner – and not a moment too soon. The old 500/Taurus was a relative flop and considering how successful the Fusion has been, a more impressive full-sized sedan was much needed.
Ford believes the 2010 Taurus will bring back the sedan’s past successes and to do so they will offer it at the same MSRP as the outgoing model – $25,995.
The 2010 Tauris will be powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts down 263hp and 249 ft-lbs of torque. Power will be put to the wheels through a six-speed transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The new transmission will also feature “grade assist” to help during hill starts.
Ford claims a vastly improved interior in terms of both materials and design. As for the exterior, the body panel margins rival those of German luxury sedans.
The look of the Taurus is all-new as well and the sedan will come with 17-inch wheels stadard with sizes ranging all the way to 20-inches.
Technological highlights include Adaptive Cruise Control and a Blind Spot Information System.
Official release after the jump: