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    William Maley

    2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility Sneakily Previews Next Explorer

      Will have the option of a hybrid powertrain


    Ford has sneakily teased the next-generation Explorer by releasing some photos of the next-generation Police Interceptor Utility. At first glance, you might think that you're looking at current Interceptor Utility. But Car and Driver did some tweaks to the photos which reveal some key changes.

    • Proportions more in line with a rear-wheel drive platform - longer front, shorter rear.
    • Dash-to-axle ratio is different to the current model
    • A belt line that rises
    • Slightly tapered roofline

    (We've done our own set of tweaks to the photos which can be seen at the bottom of the article.)

    Ford also announced that the next-generation Police Interceptor Utility will offer some sort of hybrid powertrain. The company is tight-lipped on specifics on the powertrain (like if it uses a four-cylinder or a V6), but says it is 40 percent more efficient than the 3.7L V6 and will return a combined figure of 24 mpg - 2 mpg better than the front-wheel drive 2.0L EcoBoost. Ford also claims the new Interceptor also boasts a larger cargo model, even with the hybrid's battery pack.

    Ford isn't saying either if this would be appearing on the civilian Explorer, but it would seem to be a safe bet as Ford announced that their utility vehicles would offer some sort of electrification.

    All-New-Ford-Police-Interceptor-Utility-02 Edit.jpg

    All-New-Ford-Police-Interceptor-Utility-01 Edit.jpg

    Source: Ford


    All-New Ford Police Interceptor Utility Pursuit-Rated Hybrid Offers Improved Performance, Lower Gas Costs

    • All-New Ford Police Interceptor Utility is purpose-built for law enforcement with a standard hybrid powertrain that doesn’t compromise interior space, improves pursuit performance and aims to lower fuel costs, and it comes with standard all-wheel drive 
    • Ford Police Interceptor Utility hybrid expected to save an estimated $3,200 per vehicle in yearly fuel bills versus today’s non-hybrid model, saving tax dollars
    • Ford Telematics with built-in Ford modem and complimentary two-year subscription comes with every vehicle to enable agencies to gain access to quality vehicle information, including fuel use data, CO2 emissions reduction, vehicle health alerts and more

    WASHINGTON, D.C., June 12, 2018 – Ford, America's best-selling police brand, today introduced the all-new Police Interceptor Utility, the industry's first pursuit-rated hybrid SUV.

    The all-new Ford Police Interceptor Utility hybrid responds to calls from law enforcement agencies for improved performance with lower operating costs to help make the lives of law enforcement officers easier with improved pursuit performance and standard all-wheel drive – and save agencies and taxpayers money. Its hybrid batteries are specially placed inside the vehicle so they do not compromise passenger or cargo space.

    The all-new Police Interceptor Utility also reflects Ford’s plan to offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid or both versions for every new utility in North America.

    “We’re committed to electrifying vehicles for all customers, including law enforcement who need the high performance and low operating costs that Ford’s next-generation hybrids will excel at providing,” said Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president of Product Development and Purchasing. “Standard all-wheel drive is important because crooks don’t stop when it rains.”

    While fuel economy certification isn’t complete, the Police Interceptor Utility hybrid is expected to have a projected EPA-estimated combined label of at least 24 mpg – approximately 40 percent improvement over the current 3.7-liter V6. 

    Anticipated fuel economy gains, combined with expected fuel savings from reduced engine idling time, are expected to help save law-enforcement customers an estimated $3,200 per vehicle in yearly fuel bills versus the current Police Interceptor Utility.

    If you applied these savings to every Ford Police Interceptor Utility sold in 2017, it would equate to more than $126 million at $2.93 a gallon, or more than 43 million gallons of fuel.

    Sales of Ford Police Interceptor Utility rose 5 percent in 2018, building on five straight years of sales growth and capturing 65 percent of the total U.S. police vehicle market.

    The all-new Ford Police Interceptor Utility hybrid is projected to accelerate faster, achieve a higher top speed and have at least 40 percent better fuel economy than the previous V6-powered model, helping catch suspected lawbreakers and reduce costs.

    The new hybrid-powered Police Interceptor Utility also reduces engine idling time to save fuel when the vehicle is stationary. They hybrid can power demanding electrical loads from lights, computers, radios and other equipment using its lithium-ion hybrid battery, allowing the gasoline engine to shut off and intermittently run to charge the battery.

    The Police Interceptor Utility hybrid is calibrated for law enforcement’s unique duty cycle. The utility automatically switches to maximum performance – with the engine and battery working at peak acceleration levels – when needed.

    In addition to improved performance and no trade-offs in utility, cargo and passenger space, the Police Interceptor Utility features exclusive 75-mph rear impact protection for safety.

    Technology Upgrades
    The new Police Interceptor Utility also offers the following features, including:

    • Standard Ford modem and two-year complimentary Ford Telematics service – a powerful simple-to-use tool that provides vehicle data regarding fuel use, CO2 emissions reduction, and vehicle health
    • Available all-new Police Perimeter Alert enhances previous Surveillance Mode by using the vehicle’s Blind Spot Information System that can monitor approximately 270-degrees of movement outside the vehicle, and analyze motion to determine potentially threatening behavior.  It features a visual display in the instrument cluster that shows moving objects, the motion trail, and threat level. When suspicious behavior is detected, the vehicle automatically sounds a chime, rolls up the windows and locks the doors
    • Available Rear Camera on Demand that allows officers to see what’s happening behind the vehicle
    • Available Class III trailer tow package that enables Police Interceptor Utility to tow up to 5,000 pounds

    “With Ford Telematics, we’re helping our police customers unlock the data from their vehicles to provide them with more effective ways to manage their fleets and improve operations,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford Police Brand Marketing Manager.

    The all-new Ford Police Interceptor hybrid will be built at Ford Chicago Assembly plant and up-fitted at Ford’s Chicago Modification Center. It goes on sale next summer. 

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    5 hours ago, dfelt said:

    I wonder how this new Ford Explorer will rate in crash testing as the current Explorer that this will replace has the worst crash test scores out there for an SUV.

    Worst crash scores? Ouch.  Definitely time for a full-model redesign.  I wonder if that applies to any Lincoln crossovers.

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    1 hour ago, riviera74 said:

    Worst crash scores? Ouch.  Definitely time for a full-model redesign.  I wonder if that applies to any Lincoln crossovers.

    http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/vehicle/v/ford/explorer-4-door-suv

    Yes Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee were rated the worst for crash testing.

    Both received Poor Ratings, many different stories covering the same info.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/tanyamohn/2018/06/13/midsize-suv-crash-tests-show-weak-spots-jeep-grand-cherokee-and-ford-explorer-receive-poor-rating/#46251b72c1fd

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    11 hours ago, riviera74 said:

    Worst crash scores? Ouch.  Definitely time for a full-model redesign.  I wonder if that applies to any Lincoln crossovers.

    Probably the MKT because I think it's the same platform as the Explorer. 

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    1 minute ago, ccap41 said:

    Probably the MKT because I think it's the same platform as the Explorer. 

    The new Aviator is on the new platform w/ the next Explorer, replacing the MKT.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    5 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Yeah but this is talking about the current Explorer.

    The 2020 Police Interceptor is the new Explorer.   The current Explorer and MKT are gone after MY 2019 I think. 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
    • Like 1
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    Just now, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    No, the 2020 Police Interceptor is the new Explorer. 

    Sorry, yes. I meant the conversation about the crash ratings. I guess I thought that's what the question Riviera was asking about, current lincoln. 

    • Like 1
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    It seems like a really mild evolutionary redesign, and they've managed to reduce overhangs and the visual 'bulk' of the Explorer.

     

    While I liked the styling of the current Explorer, I always felt it looked really fat, and even the gen before the outgoing one now had an athletic look to it.

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    13 hours ago, Suaviloquent said:

    It seems like a really mild evolutionary redesign, and they've managed to reduce overhangs and the visual 'bulk' of the Explorer.

     

    While I liked the styling of the current Explorer, I always felt it looked really fat, and even the gen before the outgoing one now had an athletic look to it.

    Going RWD must be fixing those issues because it does look "tighter". 

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    13 hours ago, Suaviloquent said:

    It seems like a really mild evolutionary redesign, and they've managed to reduce overhangs and the visual 'bulk' of the Explorer.

     

    While I liked the styling of the current Explorer, I always felt it looked really fat, and even the gen before the outgoing one now had an athletic look to it.

    I liked the front end after the MCE, the original front of the current generation was too busy, IMO.  Never cared for the rear end and funny taillights. 

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    24 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    My guess on powertrain will be the 2.3 Ecoboost 4-cylinder + hybrid tech.  I have no basis for that guess... it's just a guess that would make sense.

    But, But, But SMK says anything worth its salt has a V8. ;)

    If they want to rule the market then it should be a V8 with Hybrid or a V12. :smilewide:

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    RWD, they might be able to cram the 5.0 in there! 

    I actually could see them making a small turbo v8 for the Aviator but I doubt they have the balls to do it. 

    Edited by ccap41
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      Alternative:
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      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata
      Trim: Limited 1.6T
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L GDI DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500-4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/36/31
      Curb Weight: 3,336 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, AL
      Base Price: $33,300
      As Tested Price: $34,365 (Includes $930.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata Hybrid
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 2.0L GDI DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four, Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 150 @ 6,000 (gas); 51 @ 1,800 - 2,300 (electric motor); 192 (total output)
      Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 5,000 (gas); 151 @ 0 - 1,800 (electric motor)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 45/51/47
      Curb Weight: 3,530 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Asan, South Korea
      Base Price: $35,300
      As Tested Price: $36,430 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: 
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
    • By William Maley
      Despite being one of the best sellers in the luxury crossover class, the Lexus RX lacked something many competitors offered; a third-row option. Lexus rectified this a couple of years ago by stretching the RX's body and adding a third-row to create the RX L. I spent some time in the RX 350L Luxury back in the fall to find out if Lexus has another winner or if this a half-baked attempt.
      You can tell the difference between the standard RX to the longer L by looking for a floating roofline treatment. This is due to Lexus blacking part of the c-pillar to help disguise the added bulk. It doesn't fully work as looks somewhat half-baked. At least Lexus was more successful upfront where non F-Sport models get a new mesh insert to replace the horizontal slats, along with a revised bumper. When equipped with the Luxury Package, the RX is a plush and pleasant place to spend time. The leather upholstery feels nice to the touch and the use of contrasting colors (cream and brown in my tester) help make it feel special. Lexus has finally added a touchscreen for the RX's infotainment and it makes a huge difference. Gone are the litany of issues I have noted in previous models such as, Being precise with your finger movements when selecting an item Becoming very distracting to use when on the move Not the most intuitive controller Now using Lexus Enform or Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is not an exercise in frustration, but one of ease. My only complaint is that I wished Lexus moved the screen slightly more forwards. It is quite a reach to use the touchscreen. Those sitting in the second row will not have much to complain about as head and legroom are plentiful for most passengers. The same cannot be said for the third-row. Getting back here is difficult as there is not enough a gap when the second-row seat is moved forward. Once back here, space is non-existent with your head touching the headliner and legroom from nothing to something bearable depending on where the second-row is set. The one upside to the longer RX is cargo space. With the third-row seat folded, you get about seven extra cubic feet of space compared to standard RX. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 used in several Lexus and Toyota vehicles.  For the RX 350L, it produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. My tester came with all-wheel drive, but front-wheel drive is standard. Performance is adequate as you'll be able to keep up with traffic or make a pass with no issue. Those wanting a bit more performance should look at something like the upcoming Acura MDX or Volvo XC90. Comfort is still a key hallmark to the RX. Bumps and potholes become mere ripples when driven over. There is also a noticeable lack of road and wind coming inside. The RX 350L feels like a stop-gap solution until Lexus finishes up their upcoming three-row crossover due out within the next couple of years. The third-row isn't all useful for carrying passengers and is best to fold down to expand cargo space. If you need a third-row, there are much better options such as the Volvo XC90. But if you really want an RX, stick with the standard two-row version and pocket the cash you saved for something nice. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the RX 350L, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: RX
      Trim: 350L Luxury
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-valve with VVT-iW V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,300
      Torque @ RPM: 263 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,597 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
      Base Price: $54,700
      As Tested Price: $63,540 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      12.3" Navigation System/Mark Levinson 15-Speaker Premium Audio System - $3,365.00
      Blind Spot Monitor with Intuitive Parking Assist, Panoramic View Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert Braking - $1,865.00
      Running Boards - $640.00
      Color Head-Up Display - $600.00
      Second-Row Captain's Chairs - $405.00
      All-Weather Floor Liners with Cargo Mat - $330.00
      Cold Weather Package - $315.00
      Mudguards - $155.00
      Door Edge Guards - $140.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Despite being one of the best sellers in the luxury crossover class, the Lexus RX lacked something many competitors offered; a third-row option. Lexus rectified this a couple of years ago by stretching the RX's body and adding a third-row to create the RX L. I spent some time in the RX 350L Luxury back in the fall to find out if Lexus has another winner or if this a half-baked attempt.
      You can tell the difference between the standard RX to the longer L by looking for a floating roofline treatment. This is due to Lexus blacking part of the c-pillar to help disguise the added bulk. It doesn't fully work as looks somewhat half-baked. At least Lexus was more successful upfront where non F-Sport models get a new mesh insert to replace the horizontal slats, along with a revised bumper. When equipped with the Luxury Package, the RX is a plush and pleasant place to spend time. The leather upholstery feels nice to the touch and the use of contrasting colors (cream and brown in my tester) help make it feel special. Lexus has finally added a touchscreen for the RX's infotainment and it makes a huge difference. Gone are the litany of issues I have noted in previous models such as, Being precise with your finger movements when selecting an item Becoming very distracting to use when on the move Not the most intuitive controller Now using Lexus Enform or Apple CarPlay/Android Auto is not an exercise in frustration, but one of ease. My only complaint is that I wished Lexus moved the screen slightly more forwards. It is quite a reach to use the touchscreen. Those sitting in the second row will not have much to complain about as head and legroom are plentiful for most passengers. The same cannot be said for the third-row. Getting back here is difficult as there is not enough a gap when the second-row seat is moved forward. Once back here, space is non-existent with your head touching the headliner and legroom from nothing to something bearable depending on where the second-row is set. The one upside to the longer RX is cargo space. With the third-row seat folded, you get about seven extra cubic feet of space compared to standard RX. Power comes from a 3.5L V6 used in several Lexus and Toyota vehicles.  For the RX 350L, it produces 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. My tester came with all-wheel drive, but front-wheel drive is standard. Performance is adequate as you'll be able to keep up with traffic or make a pass with no issue. Those wanting a bit more performance should look at something like the upcoming Acura MDX or Volvo XC90. Comfort is still a key hallmark to the RX. Bumps and potholes become mere ripples when driven over. There is also a noticeable lack of road and wind coming inside. The RX 350L feels like a stop-gap solution until Lexus finishes up their upcoming three-row crossover due out within the next couple of years. The third-row isn't all useful for carrying passengers and is best to fold down to expand cargo space. If you need a third-row, there are much better options such as the Volvo XC90. But if you really want an RX, stick with the standard two-row version and pocket the cash you saved for something nice. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the RX 350L, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: RX
      Trim: 350L Luxury
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC 24-valve with VVT-iW V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,300
      Torque @ RPM: 263 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,597 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Miyawaka, Fukuoka, Japan
      Base Price: $54,700
      As Tested Price: $63,540 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      12.3" Navigation System/Mark Levinson 15-Speaker Premium Audio System - $3,365.00
      Blind Spot Monitor with Intuitive Parking Assist, Panoramic View Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert Braking - $1,865.00
      Running Boards - $640.00
      Color Head-Up Display - $600.00
      Second-Row Captain's Chairs - $405.00
      All-Weather Floor Liners with Cargo Mat - $330.00
      Cold Weather Package - $315.00
      Mudguards - $155.00
      Door Edge Guards - $140.00
    • By David
      Since Ford Motor Company reported a complete Q4 / 2020 fiscal year report with a loss of $2.8 Billion but a doubling of R&D on EVs to $22 Billion from $11 Billion and a $7 Billion for EV Autonomous driving, the auto reporters are asking this very question: Is this a Shot across gm's bow or is it targeted more broadly across the whole industry as everyone wants to take sales away or greatly slow down Tesla.
      Tesla's valuation appears to be based on investors putting money with new technology seems to be driving changes of the future. 
      gm has now committed to moving into the technology camp with a solid date of when new ICE auto's will no longer be produced as the whole portfolio will change over to EV's. Ford also is now committing to this same strategy. This now makes one wonder about the rest of the auto industry.
      Stellantis CEO did an interview with Forbes that has put cold water on Peugeot coming to the US in the near term future as he wants to invest in the existing US name brands and grow their 12.7% market share. He also said that Stellantis has the manufacturing power and EV technology, but getting it into the hands of everyone is the concern at reasonable prices. Stellantis CEO says this is in the hands of the various global governments as he wants cleaner air and believes diesel the dirtiest of fuels will die off before regular petrol and where dictated by governments such as China and Europe will see a faster change over than other countries. Yet with the change in administration in the US, he says this could move the Stellantis brands to move into the full EV camp at a future date.
      Then we have small countries that have decided to make a major change in moving the country into EVs way sooner than other places and killing ICE sales like Thailand. This will allow local Thai startups to compete for the first time with international companies that also do not have anything in the market yet. 
      With a large range of battery plants coming online over the next 18 months, the move to EVs could happen at a pace that took decades for ICE in the early 1900's.
      So this brings this back to the original question, Is Fords Doubling commitment to EV's and moving ICE into the last generation like GM a shot across GM's bow or a shot at the whole industry to say, look at us, we are moving into a Technology driven auto company and our stock should be much higher like Tesla's.
      Currently gm is valued at just under $80 Billion, Ford is valued at $40 Billion, Tesla is valued at $807 Billion, Toyota is valued at $155.5 Billion, Stellantis is valued at $50.5 Billion, Daimler is valued at $71 Billion, BMW valued at $46 and VW is valued at $90.7 Billion and while there are plenty of other auto companies, one has to wonder what Ford is focused on with the drastic change and speeding up of moving to EVs as a complete global portfolio.
      Sound off and discuss how, what, where and when you think this will have it's big affect.
      Charged EVs | Is Ford’s increase in EV investment a shot across GM’s bow? - Charged EVs
      Stellantis CEO Reveals Peugeot U.S. Fate, Job Security, EV Conflict (forbes.com)
      Future Toyotas, Stellantis, batteries and EVs - the week | Automotive Industry Comment | just-auto (just-auto.com)
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