Ford revealed the 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility this afternoon. Normally this wouldn’t be a terribly big deal, but the 2020 model is all-new, and it previews the next-generation Explorer. More importantly, it is a showcase of Ford’s emphasis on crossover and utility vehicles and their plan to electrify every vehicle that falls into either category. It also demonstrates why the Taurus and Fusion are no longer necessary.
Details are scarce right now, but judging by the official website, the 2020 Police Interceptor Utility will come standard with an all wheel drive hybrid powertrain. Ford did have a similar powertrain with the Escape hybrid, but that ended production in 2012, ostensibly replaced by the C-MAX.
This setup also arrives on a brand new platform, the Ford CD6 architecture, which will also underpin the Aviator and other Ford vehicles. The modular system allows Ford to develop either front or rear wheel drive models paired with an AWD system. For the Explorer and its police variant, it will be a rear wheel drive focused vehicle. If you look closely at the above picture, you can see the influence of the new platform, as the dash-to-axle ratio has noticeably increased. Otherwise it looks extremely similar to the current model. With the 2018 as the top seller in its segment, you really can’t blame them for sticking to what works.
With a claimed 24 MPG combined rating, the new model will likely save police departments a substantial amount of cash, that is if their fleet is already stocked with current one. And with Ford’s calculations using $2.50 per gallon, that should reduce the fuel budget for a single vehicle by about $3,100. The civilian model will likely save families some money, assuming it doesn’t cost much to upgrade to the hybrid variant.
Ford already had a similar fuel savings calculator set up for the Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, which is just a Fusion hybrid in police clothes. Note that this comparison is for the Police Interceptor, which despite what the picture shows, is actually a Taurus. But in the era of the crossover, that error is a minor one.
And while the NYPD may care about the availability of a Fusion hybrid, they probably will switch over to the Explorer.
And that’s because the new model boasts even more cargo room than the current one, and apparently that’s even taking the hybrid battery into account.
And what do you get when you purchase a Fusion hybrid police vehicle? Much less space for perps, partners, computers and weapons. Not to mention the reduced ride height.
So while the Fusion may be available with a police uniform for now, it will soon be replaced by the Explorer in cop duds, and it will be substantially more fuel efficient too. The 2020 Police Interceptor Utility is a concrete example of why sedans are falling out of favor.