The Taurus-based Police Interceptor comes with two engines and drivetrains: Buyers can get a naturally aspirated 265 hp 3.5 liter V6 with front wheel drive, or a 365 hp Ecoboost 3.5l V6 with all wheel drive. The Ecoboost version is expected to provide 20% better fuel economy than the Crown Vic in regular service, while providing 110 additional horsepower and superior traction in inclement weather.
A larger alternator and radiator helps keep the car running when the vehicle is parked, while improved brakes help bring the heavier car to a halt. Unique seats provide room for utility belts, while anti-stab plates have been added to protect the seat backs. The shifter moves to the steering column, leaving plenty of space on the console to add aftermarket equipment. Out back, new hinges let the doors open wider, while a new vinyl seat is designed for easier handling of passengers as they get in and out of the vehicle.
Although the Explorer Special Services Vehicle was used by police forces, this is the first time the SUV has been designed specifically for police use. Since the Explorer shares a lot of parts with the Taurus, the Police Interceptor Utility version copies most of the sedan's modifications while targeting off-road use while being able to haul 800 lbs. of cargo. The rear seat can be folded down flat for increased space, which is expected to make it a popular choice for K-9 units. It will only be sold with the naturally aspirated V6.
The Taurus's main competitors will be the Dodge Charger Pursuit and the Caprice PPV. While the Charger is similar to its civilian counterpart, the Australian-built Caprice is on the same platform that underpinned the Pontiac G8. Both cars are closer in execution to the Crown Vic, with RWD and a choice of V6 and V8 engines. The Explorer's only real competitor is the larger Chevy Tahoe, although Chrysler is expected to offer a police version of the new Durango sometime in the near future.
The Michigan State Police gave the cars their "Pursuit Rated" designation. In the Los Angeles Police Department's tests, the Taurus beat out the Charger and Caprice and the Explorer was a full two seconds faster through their test course than the Tahoe.
Production of both vehicles has just begun. Current sales orders are split 60/40 between the sedan and SUV. Orders have already been taken from over 1,200 police agencies.