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Ford Introduces New Taurus-based Police Car

Posted: Mar 15, 2010 10:40 a.m.

The next time you’re pulled over for speeding, you might be surprised by what you see in the rearview. Ford recently unveiled its replacement for the Crown-Victoria-based Police Interceptor -- and it’s a Taurus.

“Ford first introduced its police package in 1950 and today the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is the industry leader,” explains Jalopnik. “The automaker's dominated the streets to the point that over the last five years, Ford's controlled more than 70% of the patrol cars sold.  … Unfortunately, the Crown Vic's Panther-platform's getting a little long in the tooth — it hasn't seen a redesign in over 15 years.”

So out goes the Crown Vic and in comes the Taurus. “To develop the all-new Police Interceptor, Ford engineers worked hand-in-hand with Ford’s Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals, which provided input on key vehicle attributes such as safety, performance, durability, driver comfort and functionality,” writes Ford.

While the new Police Interceptor is based on the 2010 Ford Taurus, the changes are significant.

According to Cars.com, “Police departments across the country won’t be piloting just any Taurus off dealership lots. Ford says approximately 90 percent of the interior has been redesigned for police use.” Unique features include front seats with anti-stab plates to protect officers from violent criminals and vinyl rear seats to make cleaning up after messy ones easier.  

That’s not all. USA Today reports: “The Taurus-based model will keep the Police Interceptor name but offer just two 3.5-liter V-6 engines, no big V-8s, as in the Crown Vic. Ford boasts that the standard version will be 25% more fuel efficient than the current standard V-8. And the version with two turbochargers, what Ford calls EcoBoost, will deliver 365 horsepower, 115 more than the standard Crown Vic.” The 365-horsepower V6 is the same found in the performance-tuned Taurus SHO. An optional all-wheel drive system will also be available.

The result is a better-performing police car. “Ford’s new police car can endure a rear-end crash at 75 m.p.h., easily jump curbs and accelerate twice as fast as Ford's outgoing iconic Crown Victoria Police Interceptor,” says the Detroit Free Press.

However, the competition is tough. “The Taurus-based cop car will have to compete against the Dodge Charger cruiser, which looks good and is plenty fast with the available Hemi, and the Chevrolet Caprice, another rear-driver which is pretty much a Pontiac G8 in all but name (and civilian availability),” writes Edmunds.

Ford will cease production on the old Police Interceptor in late 2011 and begin introducing the new Taurus-based model in 2012.

If you're in the market for a new car, check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars as well as this month's best car deals