Ford’s Police Responder Hybrid Sedan will be America’s first pursuit-rated hybrid police car.
Mainstream Hybrid cars such as Toyota Prius or Chevrolet Volt can be seen in neighborhoods across the USA, their primary function isn’t high-speed chases.
The Police Responder is like the Ford Fusion Hybrid with some specific changes made to cater to the needs of the Police Force. These changes include a better engine cooling system, a stronger suspension system, and sturdier brakes along with skid plates at the bottom of the car to protect its mechanical components when the cars drive over curbs.
This fall, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, and the Michigan State Police will examine the pursuit vehicles to determine whether they are sufficient for the police force to use during high-speed chases across the country. Based on Ford’s internal testing, Ford is confident that the vehicle will pass all tests conducted by the agencies and claims that the vehicle should be should be available next spring.
Other than boasting about the vehicle’s strength and speed, Ford claims that the cars are also fuel efficient than the current police cars, going as far as to claim that that these hybrid cars will save $3,900 on fuel per vehicle. The new hybrid’s fuel economy is almost twice that of a non-hybrid Police Interceptor.
Ford states that almost 60% of the on-duty time by police cars is spent idle; the Police Responder barely uses any gas when idle.
Even the interiors of the cars have been altered to accommodate the police. The cushions of the front seats are made to carry police equipment such as belts and gun holsters. There are no seatback or door pockets in the backseat area so suspects aren’t able to hide weapons or contraband in them. To protect the policemen sitting in the front, there are anti-stab panels placed behind the front seats. Knowing that the police force’s cars can get messy, Ford has made the interiors very easy-to-clean.
Ford’s Police Responder Hybrid Sedan is meant for urban use. Ford’s Taurus-based Police Interceptor is still recommended for chasing cars on the highway since it is armed with a turbocharged V6 engine.