The city and highway fuel economy ratings for the new Ford Police Interceptors (PI) have increased by 25% over the retired Crown Victoria. But as law enforcement vehicles spend the majority of their lives idling, Ford engineers also tuned the Police Interceptor sedan and utility vehicle models to save fuel even when they are standing still, with no sacrifice to pursuit performance.
A recent study of police car use in Ottawa, Canada, showed the average police vehicle idles for up to 6.7 hours in every 10-hour shift. And, according to Police Fleet Magazine, the typical police vehicle wastes half a gallon of fuel for each hour it idles. Fuel economy at idle improves 35% on the Police Interceptor sedan and 32% on the Police Interceptor utility vehicle.
The base 3.5-liter V6 in the Police Interceptor sedan delivers 288 hp (215 kW) and EPA-certified fuel economy of 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway (13 and 9 L/100km). Compared to the Crown Victoria—America’s top-selling law enforcement vehicle for the past 15 years—the Police Interceptor sedan offers an improvement of 4 mpg city and 5 mpg highway, and 38 more horsepower.
The optional EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 in the all-wheel-drive Police Interceptor sedan is rated at 365 hp (272 kW) and is EPA-certified at 16 mpg city, 23 mpg highway (14.7 and 10.2 L/100km). In recent Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department testing, the EcoBoost Police Interceptor beat all competitive police cars from General Motors and Chrysler in 0-60 mph acceleration tests.
|Fuel economy test results from the LA Sheriff’s Department 2012 evaluations. Click to enlarge.|
The Police Interceptor utility is built with a 3.7-liter V6 rated at 304 hp, with an EPA rating of 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway (14.7 and 10.7 L/100km) is best in class, topping the Chevrolet Tahoe PPV. The Police Interceptor utility out-accelerated the V8-powered Tahoe in the LASD tests, reaching 60 mph in 8.4 seconds compared with 9.5 seconds for the Tahoe.
The 3.5-liter V6 engine in the Police Interceptor sedan uses 35% less fuel idling than did the 4.6-liter V8 engine in the Crown Victoria. The 3.7-liter V6 in the Police Interceptor utility uses 32% less fuel when idling than the Crown Victoria’s engine.
All three Police Interceptor engines feature double overhead cams, four valves per cylinder and Ti-VCT, or twin independent variable camshaft timing, plus several other advanced features that improve fuel economy at idle and at speed without sacrificing the performance that is required by law enforcement. A torque-sensing all-wheel-drive system is standard and unique to the Police Interceptor sedan and utility.
An example of how Ford engineers improved the fuel economy of both Police Interceptor models, beyond the powertrain changes, is outfitting the vehicles with EPAS, or electric power-assisted steering. The old-style hydraulic power steering system found on competitive police vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Caprice PPV and Dodge Charger, forces the engine to work harder—and waste fuel—at idle because the pump runs whenever the engine does.
When a Ford Police Interceptor is idling, no energy is consumed by the steering system until an officer turns the steering wheel. Other fuel improvements come from optimizing the energy consumed by the air conditioning compressor and 220 amp alternator.