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By Drew Johnson

Ford may be the current leader in the police vehicle market – owning a 70 percent share of the entire segment with the Crown Victoria – but law enforcement officials remain skeptical of the Blue Oval’s new Taurus-based Police Interceptor.

Over 400 law enforcement officials are currently gathered at Chrysler’s proving grounds in Chelsea, Michigan to put the latest crop of police vehicles through a bevy of tests – including braking, acceleration and handling – but some officials are wary of the capabilities of Ford’s Crown Vic-replacing Police Interceptor.

Based on Ford’s latest Taurus model, the Police Interceptor offers two capable powertrains – Ford’s 280 horsepower 3.5L V6 and a 365 horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 – but officials are skeptical that the car’s front-wheel drive setup won’t be sufficient for police duties.

“They will have a tough time,” said Terry Sweezey, public safety officer from Leoni Township. “It is a whole different driving system.”

An all-wheel drive system will be standard on turbocharged versions of the car, but Ford admits that even AWD models will require additional officer training, as rear-wheel drive vehicles have long been the police standard. “And we will be prepared for that. We will help them train as we launch our vehicles next year,” Tony Gratson, sales manager for Ford’s government fleet vehicles, said.

Meanwhile, General Motors and Chrysler had a much easier time impressing law enforcement officials thanks to their new rear-wheel drive police models. GM will be launching a new Chevrolet Caprice police model in the coming months while Chrysler is preparing a pursuit version of its all-new Dodge Charger model. The new Caprice model has garnered the most praise so far, thanks to its class-leading interior volume and powerful 6.0L V8 engine.

An official report on the evaluations is expected in December.



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Police officers put a LOT of miles on a vehicle. They know what gets the job done. Ford should remember back to the pathetic Taurus police car of the 80's with the louvers in the "grille" to let air in. What a joke that was, and this new one isn't much better, for the kind of long, hard grind a police car has to endure.

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Report: Authorities skeptical of Ford's new Police Interceptor at testing event

by Jonathon Ramsey (RSS feed) on Sep 20th 2010 at 10:59AM

Michigan law enforcement officials have gathered to run a rodeo with the Ford Police Interceptor, Dodge Charger Pursuit and Chevrolet Caprice police car. The last horse standing will be trying to slide into the spot left by the Ford Crown Victoria, which sold about 50,000 units per year before going out of production. Ford doesn't have the inside line on replacing its standard bearer, though, because the Taurus-based Police Interceptor is front-wheel drive, and that makes some officers skeptical.

An officer's remark that "It is a whole different driving system" symbolizes the wariness, with concerns not only about cost and complexity, but just being able to drive the thing in the way officers are accustomed. The competition is rear-wheel drive, and in the case of the Caprice – which ran the police fleet show until it went out of production – there's more interior room. All the cars have their give-and-take, although the Ford is the only offering with all-wheel drive. Final results from the weekend's testing will be announced in December.



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