Yeah you read that right, a hybrid sport utility vehicle from Ford is officially the fastest police vehicle in America according to preliminary test data from the Michigan State Police. Commonly referred to as the “Police Interceptor Utility” (or “PIU” for short), Ford’s version of a modified Explorer is already the best-selling cop car in America, and not only is it now known for being the fastest cop car in America, but it’s also great at pinching pennies for the local police department.
But we can get to the money saving side in a minute, because we’d rather start with the fun stuff. According to the report from Ford, its all-new 2020 Police Interceptor Utility “bested all entries, including V8-equipped sedans, with its EcoBoost-powered all-wheel-drive version” of the 2020 Explorer. The Michigan State Police Department has become widely known for its grueling annual vehicle testing program, where pursuit-rated automobiles have to complete a 32-lap dynamics test in its entirety without sign of mechanical or brake failure, with functioning brakes and tires remaining on the car throughout the duration.
Crushing both 0-60 times (5.77 seconds) and 0-100 mph runs (13.59 seconds), along with fastest lap and fastest average lap recordings, Ford’s heavyweight utility vehicle bested the competition in the throttle department. Even other SUV offerings could not keep up with the latest offering from The Blue Oval, with V8-equipped sedans trailing just the same, thus making the brand’s promise to “deliver a hybrid Police Interceptor that outperforms today’s 3.7-liter V6 model with all-wheel drive” a reality.
On top of being the fastest off the line and to 100 mph, the 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility also took the top spot for high speed acceleration, with Michigan State Police consistently logging a respectable 150 mph in non-hybrid models, and 137 mph in hybrid versions. According to the report, this is the first time in history that an SUV has taken the title for being the fastest police vehicle, paving the way for what some are calling “a bright future for Ford performance hybrids.”
But more horsepower, torque, acceleration, and top speed on tap versus today’s 3.7-liter V6 model isn’t the only thing the 3.0-liter hybrid variant of the 2020 Police Interceptor Utility offers. Cops are constantly idling when not in motion in order to keep lighting, radios, computers, and various other forms of on-board equipment up and running properly, making hybrid systems a splendid solution for reducing greenhouse gasses, all while saving fuel. With this hybrid alternative, electrical equipment gets juice from the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery, meaning that the gas engine will only cut-on when a quick recharge is required.
Although fuel economy certification has yet to receive an official stamp of approval from the government, Ford is predicting that the Police Interceptor Utility hybrid will score an EPA estimate of at least 24 mpg. If Ford’s projected efficiency score holds true, the hybrid model will offer a whopping 40% improvement over the current 3.7-liter V6, saving an estimated $3,500 in fuel per vehicle annually. That breaks down to more than 43 million gallons of fuel saved every year if it were implemented in the current PIU units on the streets today!