- - Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ford’s all-new Police Interceptor sedan and utility can save America’s law enforcement agencies millions of dollars a year on fuel costs.

With three powerful and fuel-efficient V6 engines, the new Police Interceptor lineup is expected to deliver average fuel economy gains of between 20 and 25 percent over the Crown Victoria police car, which ends production later this year. The market leader for the past 15 years, the current Crown Victoria police car is rated at 14 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.

Fuel costs from large to small law enforcement agencies illustrate the potential savings the new Ford Police Interceptor models are capable of delivering as the cost of oil hovers around $100 per barrel.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department — the largest sheriff’s department in the world — operates a fleet of 6,200 vehicles that patrol an area the size of Connecticut. In 2010, those vehicles drove more than 27 million miles. A fleet-wide 20 percent fuel economy gain would save the department at least $20 million a year at today’s fuel prices of nearly $4 per gallon.

“We set out to deliver our new portfolio of Police Interceptors to be industry-leading from durability to performance, including taking on one of the most important challenges for agencies today, fuel efficiency,” said Kevin Koswick, director of Ford’s North American Fleet Operations. “With Ford’s new Police Interceptors, we took the industry benchmark, our Crown Victoria, and improved every element including delivering up to a 25 percent improvement in fuel economy.”

The improved efficiency of the new Police Interceptors is part of Ford’s corporate goal to lead or be among the leaders in fuel economy in every segment in which the company competes — and that includes not just the vehicles that consumers buy, but also the cars, trucks and utilities built for fleet buyers such as law enforcement agencies.

The city of Detroit spent roughly $10 million on gasoline for its police fleet in 2010. Switching to the new Ford Interceptor sedan and utility could save Detroit taxpayers at least $2 million annually.

Even small towns would see significant savings with the new Interceptors. For example, the city of Berkley, just north of Detroit, like many American municipalities, is struggling to balance its budget. That’s even tougher now with the soaring price of oil. Berkley’s police fleet consists of 13 Crown Victoria police cars that patrol the city’s 2.2 square miles. Berkley had been spending about $2,500 per month on gasoline for its police cars before the recent surge in oil prices.

A 20 percent fuel economy gain for Berkley’s patrol cars would have equaled a savings of $500 per month or $6,000 per year. Now the potential savings is much higher.

“Right now, budgets are extremely tight, and we’re looking to save money wherever we can to enable us to continue to provide services to the citizens of Berkley,” said David Sabuda, the city’s finance director. “It’s very important to us that we have fuel-efficient police cars.”

Under the hood?The new Ford Police Interceptors, both sedan and utility vehicle, can be ordered with a choice of three powerful V6 engines that deliver more horsepower and better fuel economy than the 250-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8 in today’s Crown Victoria police car.

The base 3.5-liter Duratec V6 engine in the new Police Interceptor sedan will deliver at least 280 horsepower. Also available in the sedan is Ford’s award-winning EcoBoost™ twin-turbo V6 that will have at least 365 horsepower. The EcoBoost-equipped Police Interceptor comes standard with all-wheel drive that enhances handling and safety during high-speed pursuits. The new Police Interceptor utility model will be powered by a 3.7-liter V6 and features all-wheel drive delivering at least 300 horsepower.

In early testing by police agencies, both new Ford Police Interceptors delivered outstanding performance and won praise for acceleration, handling and braking. The new Police Interceptor sedan with the V6 EcoBoost engine outperformed all V8 competitors in Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department testing in November.

Ford’s new Police Interceptors feature a number of exclusive features not available in any other police vehicles, including electric power-assisted steering (EPAS), all-wheel drive, turbochargers and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT).

The amount of fuel a law enforcement agency can save by switching to the new Ford Police Interceptor duo will vary based on where the vehicles are most often driven. Their engines will deliver the biggest fuel savings in city driving.

The all-new Ford Police Interceptors will be built at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant.

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