Police Advisory Board met in Dearborn
with a keynote speech by Edsel Ford II, the great-grandson of Henry Ford and on
the Board of Directors with Ford Motor Company. He is clearly proud that Ford
Motor Company has such a leadership position in public safety.
Ford archives, he traced the police use of Ford vehicles back to the Model T. A
photo of the 1922 Model T in use by the West Virginia State Police proved the
point. The flathead V8 was what really gave the Ford Model A the edge for
obvious pride, Edsel Ford told the gathered fleet managers, “In 1950, Ford
Motor Company became the first automaker to offer a police package.” And the
rest is police fleet history-Ford Motor Company has been producing police
package vehicles ever since. And what car does he drive? A Taurus SHO, which
has the twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine.
Ford II is the most recent in a long line of senior Ford officials who have
demonstrated their commitment to the police community by meeting at length with
the PAB. Others have included Jim Farley, vice present of Global Marketing,
Sales and Service; Mark Fields, Ford Chief Operating Officer; and Alan Mulally,
Ford’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Police Vehicle Sales
are many ways to calculate or report market share: orders, deliveries, year to
year, model year, registration. Each has challenges, not the least of which is
sales volatility month to month. In the most general of terms, Ford Motor
Company sells the most NextGen police vehicles. The ratio of Utility: Sedan continues to trend
toward the Utility. During the fall meeting, this ratio was roughly 65:35,
Fleet has recently had some significant personnel changes. Two men who guided
the transition from Ford CVPI to the NextGen Police Interceptors have moved on.
Bill Gubing, the chief engineer during the launch, has moved to Escape and been
replaced by Arie Groeneveld. Gerry Koss has retired. The two Police
Interceptors are the combined market leaders thanks in large part to these two
PI Sedan Special Service Police
made two big announcements around the time of the PAB meeting. A unique Special
Service Police (SSP) package is available for the Sedan based around the super-economical 2.0L
EcoBoost I4 engine. The entire purpose of the Special-Service Police Sedan is
to be the most fuel-efficient, full-size sedan for police admin use, all the
while being police package durable.
every police officer needs pursuit-rated vehicles, and as agencies look to
replace older, less-efficient V8-equipped cruisers with more efficient
vehicles, Ford wants to offer the most efficient—yet still very capable—full-size
police vehicle available,” Jonathon Honeycutt said. Any police option available
on the PI Sedan is available on the Special Service Police Sedan. In addition
to being more efficient than the 3.5L FWD, 3.7L AWD, or 3.5L EcoBoost variants,
the new Special-Service Police Sedan retains all the essential police DNA like
safety, durability, upfit friendly, and purpose built. The sedan will also
offer Active Grille Shutters that manage airflow to optimize the balance
between engine cooling and aerodynamics. And commonality of parts will remain
an integral part of the 2.0L Special-Service Police Sedan.
the SSPolice Sedan is all Police Interceptor—brakes, suspension, spring rates,
interior—the vehicle is non-pursuit rated. Only the engine/trans and
tires/wheels are different. According to Ford, the SSP Sedan is OK for short
pursuits, for short amounts of emergency driving. (According to the IACP, the
average length of a pursuit is 5.5 minutes.) The SSP Sedan is not pursuit-rated
but has been tested at 75 mph rear, offset crashes like both the PI Sedan and
Ward’s 10 Best Engines
2.0L EcoBoost engine recently gained notoriety as a Ward’s 10 Best Engines
winner. The 2.0L I4 combines the technologies of direct injection and
turbocharging plus twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT). The
result is 240 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque—the power of a V6 and fuel
efficiency of a 4-cylinder engine.
addition of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine means that agencies will now have
four choices of powertrains in the PI Sedan, including a V6 lineup that
outperforms V8 engines of years past. The PI Sedan is available with a 3.5L V6
with Front-Wheel Drive, a 3.7L V6 with All-Wheel Drive, and the 365 hp 3.5L V6
EcoBoost engine with All-Wheel Drive. This allows police to choose the power
plant that best meets their patrol requirements.
Steering & Handling Course
PAB members—fleet managers, EVOC instructors, chiefs & sheriffs—had a
chance to drive the SSP Sedan. We compared the 250 hp, 4.6L Ford CVPI to the
240 hp, 2.0L SSP Sedan on Ford’s Steering and Handling Perimeter course at the
Dearborn Development Center.
word about the course. It was designed for engineering development and is not
particularly fun to drive. I have raced sports car-class Mustangs on road
racing courses in four states. The Steering and Handling course is not a race
track—it is a proving ground tool. It has some extremely difficult turns,
curves, dips, rises and transitions. With very little effort you can bottom out
the chassis and seconds later find yourself airborne…while turning.
reward you for making it through the tight and awkward parts, the course opens
up to a nice straight and a very high-speed sweeping turn. Bottom line? If the
vehicle has any weak areas in handling, steering, acceleration or braking, THIS
course will find it immediately. This is what it is there for.
we drove the Ford CVPI. Yep, driven them for 20 years and know everything about
how they work on the street. No surprises whatsoever. The Ford CVPI is the
nation’s benchmark for police cars.
the SSP Sedan.
Virtually, every PAB member was prepared to be underwhelmed, all set to drive a
sedan with an “OK” 4-cylinder engine and “OK” overall performance. Virtually,
every PAB member had the same reaction when climbing out of the SSP Sedan—surprise.
all used some form of that word—surprise, impressed, better than I thought,
totally satisfied. More than a few commented on getting that much power, that
much throttle response, from a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine in a full-size sedan.
the 2.0L EcoBoost I4 in the SSP Sedan performs midway between the 3.5L Ti-VCT
V6 and 3.7L Ti-VCT V6 while getting better mileage than either. The SSP Sedan
clearly outperforms the Ford CVPI.
Torque Without Torque Steer
Special-Service Police Sedan is available as a FWD only. Even though one
section of the Steering & Handling course is a tight hairpin, the SSP Sedan
did not behave like a FWD. There was no torque steer even though the 2.0L
EcoBoost engine has as much torque as the 3.7L V6 and more torque than the 3.5L
V6. In fact, at 270 lb-ft, the 2.0L I4 has 91 percent of the torque of the 4.6L
V8 in the Ford CVPI…and gets it at just 3,000 rpm instead of the V8’s 4,000
SSP Sedan did not have that other irritating trait with most FWD cars:
excessive understeer or push. In fact, it was hard to tell the FWD 2.0L SSP Sedan from the AWD 3.7L PI Sedan. Of course, you could make the SSP
Sedan understeer, but it took a deliberate effort using the worst style of
driving. In typical police admin use, even when in a hurry, the PI Sedan SSP
won’t understeer. Ford calls it Torque Vectoring Control and Curve Control. It
Vectoring Control and Curve Control, standard on all the Taurus models, are two
innovative enhancements to AdvanceTrac® with electronic
stability control (ESC).
Torque Vectoring Control transfers torque to the wheels that have the most
grip. It uses braking to adjust the speed between the front wheels while you’re
accelerating through a corner, forcing the front end to hug the inside of the
curve and provide a better grip. Torque Vectoring Control creates a firm
connection to the road that’s assuring to every driver.
Control will slow you down when it senses that you’re going too fast into a
particular curve. Employing throttle reduction and 4-wheel braking
intervention, it’s always active in helping you maintain control. The SSP Sedan
may be a FWD-only sedan, but it has a very balanced feel, even on the proving
ground course designed to show any shortcoming.
Maximum Fuel Economy
this point, Ford is targeting the police admin fleet, that 20 percent of the
total police fleet that can be non-pursuit, but needs to have maximum fuel
economy in a full-size sedan. The EPA estimates are 20 City-30 Highway-24
Combined. This does indeed beat the Impala 9C1 at 18 City-30 Highway and
Charger Pursuit V6 at 18 City-27 Highway.
2.0L EcoBoost I4 engine is a $600 option. The expectation is that the option
will more than pay for itself compared to the EPA estimates of both the 3.5L V6
and 3.7L V6 engines in the PI Sedan. The 2.0L I4 uses 35 percent less gasoline
than the 3.L V6 at idle. The 2.0L EcoBoost I4 is not flex fuel-certified.
SSP Sedan uses a very different tire and wheel than the PI Sedan/PI Utility. It
is a Michelin 255/45 tire on a 19-inch wheel, compared to a Goodyear 245/55
tire on an 18-inch wheel. The Michelin “eco” tire was needed to achieve the
maximum fuel economy—the entire purpose of this full-size sedan.
Special-Service Police 2.0L Sedan in one word? Impressive.
PI Utility 3.5L EcoBoost V6
other powertrain news was the new option of the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 in the PI
Utility. The 3.5L EcoBoost V6 in the PI Utility is exactly the same optional
engine as the optional 3.5L EcoBoost V6 in the PI Sedan. The new EcoBoost
package includes the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine, unique Interceptor badging,
deflector plate, new front fascia, and chrome tip exhaust.
retail Ford Explorer Sport got this powerhouse engine in 2013, which gave Ford
PAB members hope that it would soon make the police lineup. Even though the
3.5L EcoBoost V6 was already in a retail Explorer, it was a major engineering
accomplishment to upgrade the drivetrain to police package status. Engine
cooling was the emphasis of the engineering team.
tests are strictly confidential and proprietary. However, consider this old
heat-rise test performed by one automaker: In 100 deg F weather conditions, run
the engine at Wide Open Throttle for an entire tank of gasoline. Cooling tests
for police package vehicles are tougher today.
most obvious change to the PI Utility with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 is the unique,
blocked-off grille. Looks are deceiving. The grille on the 3.7L PI Utility only
appears to be open. It, too, is mostly blocked off behind the grille exterior.
3.5L EcoBoost Utility did indeed get a taller, higher flow radiator. The trans
cooler was raised slightly to be more in the air flow. The radiators and
coolers are stacked one on top of the other, vertically rather than sandwiched
one behind the other horizontally.
than the radiator and cooler changes, and gobs more torque, the 3.5L EcoBoost
PI Utility and the 3.7L Ti-VCT PI Utility are virtually the same vehicle. There
was some minor software tuning to the transmission calibration, the stability
control parameters, and the AWD engagement parameters. The front stabilizer bar
on the EcoBoost PI Utility is stiffer than the standard PI Utility. The result
is once again balanced handling from a crossover with big V8 power.
Side By Side
see and feel the difference between the standard and optional engines, the PAB
members did a bit of drag racing: 365 hp 3.5L EcoBoost PI Utility versus 304 hp
3.7L Ti-VCT PI Utility. Side by side on a 1,000-foot drag strip against the
3.7L PI Utility, the 3.5L EcoBoost PI Utility is quicker from 0 to 60 mph. The
60 to 120 mph performance is much quicker. In measured numbers, the 3.5L
EcoBoost PI Utility is almost two seconds faster to 60 mph and more than five
seconds faster to 100 mph than the 3.7L version.
really good news about the 3.5L EcoBoost engine in the PI Utility is how low
key the power and performance is. Unlike the concern of some chiefs and
sheriffs, the 3.5L EcoBoost does not turn the PI Utility into a fire-breathing
monster. The PI Utility with the 3.5L EcoBoost is extremely drivable. The
twin-turbo V6 is definitely not “too much” engine.
PI Utility with either the 3.7L Ti-VCT V6 or the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 has a top
speed of 131 mph. Using the new MySpeed fleet management tool, the top speed
can be set at any speed from 90 mph up to the limited top speed in 5 mph
line? The PI Utility with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 is faster than the 3.7L PI Sedan
and has more room. The PI Utility is clearly the best handling of any
police-package or special-service packaging crossover/SUV on the market. The
3.5L EcoBoost Utility has zero torque steer…and the twin-turbo V6 produces
almost 20 percent more torque than the 4.6L V8 in the Ford CVPI.
Michigan State Police Results
the PAB meeting, the results of the recent Michigan State Police tests were
discussed. Basically, the MSP tests were a statistical tie between similar
competitive sedans. The 350 hp(+) V8 and turbo V6 sedans all ran the same. The
base V6 sedans (FWD, RWD, AWD) all ran the same.
the crossover/SUVs, the PI Utility with the 3.5L EcoBoost was a stand-alone,
hands-down winner in acceleration and handling. While the base 3.7L V6 PI
Utility had acceleration, braking, top speed, and EPA fuel estimates similar to
the 5.3L V8 Tahoe, it had much quicker road course times. In fact, the base
3.7L V6 PI Utility equaled the based V6 sedans around the Grattan race track.
was also noted that the MSP tests the vehicles exactly the drivetrain mode each
manufacturer requests. The Ford sedans and crossovers are run in the default
mode. That is the condition the vehicle is in at the beginning of each key-ON
cycle. The Dodge sedans are run with the Electronic Stability Program
(stability control) in partial-OFF mode. This must be manually selected by the
driver with each key-ON cycle.
Chevrolet sedans and SUVs are run in performance mode (where equipped) in which
the stability control and traction control are partially OFF, and with the
Caprice, with the transmission in Sport mode. Both of these settings must be
selected by the officer with each key-ON cycle.
Ruden, PAB member and chief of the Lincoln, Calif. Police Department, and James
DeYonke, Ford Credit Municipal Finance department Marketing Coordinator, teamed
up to explain the Ford Credit Municipal Finance Program. The same money outlay
to buy four cars can lease purchase 15 cars, and Lincoln, Calif. was the case
Ford Credit Municipal Finance Program provides a non-appropriations clause in
its lease purchase contracts. This clause assists municipalities in obtaining
budget approval that are not permitted to finance anything beyond the budget
Ford Credit Municipal Finance Program can be written for two- to five-year
terms, has no mileage caps, and requires no security deposit. The department
will own the vehicles at the end of the lease. Finally, the cost of upfitting
and an extended service plan can be included in the financing. Watch the pages
of Police Fleet Manager for detailed
coverage of the Ford Credit Municipal Finance Program and the Lincoln, Calif.
police case study.
LAPD Embedded Screen
Freiburger, special vehicle engineering supervisor, presented the details of
the Lectronix-Havis-Ford-LAPD Embedded Screen…the technology buzz of the
season. The NextGen in-dash mounted screen in Ford’s Police Interceptor Sedan
and Police Interceptor Utility is the LAPD’s vision of the future police
vehicle, the next step forward in police interiors and upfitting.
LAPD design puts an emphasis on officer safety and comfort, ergonomics (human
machine interface), saving interior space and technology integration. New
police car infrastructures demand the safe mounting and the easy use of
multiple radio connections, multiple video inputs, relocated HVAC and vehicle controls,
radar detection, ALPR systems, laptop-tablet computers, printers, and other
upfitted enforcement gear.
more law enforcement devices added to smaller police vehicles, the in-dash
screen is a major upfit solution. The LAPD worked with Havis, Australia’s
National Safety Agency and Lectronix to jointly develop this solution. Officers
will have an integrated screen with touch controls for all of the upfitted
emergency and communication equipment.
design effort led Havis to make a dash molding that precisely and securely
wraps a Lectronix monitor. Computer Aided Design data from Ford allowed Havis
to use factory OEM mounting points for the screen’s location and all the
required fasteners. Lectronix custom software provides the technology to
complete the integration. Ford, Lectronix and Havis have also designed the
system with capability to integrate voice command and PA functions with the OEM