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Jalopnik: Hello, Officer: Ford Announces New Police Interceptor For 2011 [Police Cars]

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500x_ford404.jpgBefore you ask, no, this isn't it. But an all-new Ford Police Interceptor is on its way to replace the ol' and busted Crown Vic, and it's likely to be rear-wheel drive. Get in the car, perp.

Confession time: We've never driven a Police Interceptor. Hell, we've barely even been in one. (There was that one time with the live chickens and the three hundred pounds of prime rib, but for legal reasons, we're not allowed to talk about it.) So we can't really explain why we dig this, or why it gets us excited, or why it makes us want to get all Good Cop/Bad Cop and go hunt down some junkie fool with a dirty mouth and blood on his mind.

The skinny: The next Interceptor arrives in 2011. Ford claims it will be engineered and built in America, and that it will offer better fuel efficiency, quality, safety, and performance than the current Crown Vic. (Given that the Crown Vic was designed when Calvin Coolidge was in diapers, none of this should difficult.) Further details should arrive in the first quarter of 2010.

The speculation: For starters, the picture above is the Ford Interceptor concept revealed at the NY Auto Show in 2002. That concept was based on the 2003 Ford Police Interceptor. The concept had crush-resistant bumpers with reinforced steel push bars, 18-inch alloy wheels and was powered by a 4.6-liter, 4-valve, V8 engine that produced 300 HP and 300 lb-ft of torque. But that won't be what Ford's unveiling in the first quarter of next year.

Our bets are on a rear-wheel-drive ass-hauler based off the Australian-market Ford Falcon. There's a slim chance that it could be Taurus-based, but durability issues would likely preclude that from happening. Note that all of this comes on the heels of Chevrolet's Caprice announcement. Nothing like a good cop-car shoot-out, is there?

[Full press release here:

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I don't think this is accurate. From what I am hearing at BON, it will be based on the Taurus with a redesigned exterior (either all new sheet metal, or new front and rear clips). That means FWD.

Whew, Borg, what a relief! You're one of the few people in this string to make life easy and go for the logical answer.

So, in summary for the other folks......

Logic dictates. First, eliminate RWD. Why?

1. There is no way St. Thomas is capable of producing anything other than Panther without huge expenditures; St. Thomas is going down for the count, period.

2. There is no GRWD; Ford would not develop a RWD sedan off of D2c Mustang considering the age of the platform and even if they did, there is nowhere to build it.

3. GM is playing with Australia for a police entry, Ford could do the same, but there is no indication that the Falcon is being prepared for the U.S. (no LHD), sourcing cop cars from Australia would be controversial, and the announcement says the product would be U.S. designed and built, so that eliminates the Falcon. There is no way the Falcon is slated for production in the U.S.

4. The D4 will never be a RWD platform.

So that means the only viable answer is the D4 Taurus out of Chicago (and I assume there also will be a police package on the new Explorer).

Of course there are still a lot of open questions, mostly considering the uniqueness from Taurus (e.g., wheelbase, sheetmetal)

http://www.blueovalforums.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=36416&st=40

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