FOLLOWING NEWS THAT it has been developing a replacement for the iconic Crown Victoria police cruiser, Ford in the US has today revealed the new 2012 Ford Police Interceptor.
Early reports had suggested that Ford, like GM with the Holden Statesman, had earmarked the proven Australian Ford Falcon as a strong contender for the job. However, speaking with TMR late last year, Ford Australia's Justin Lacy confirmed that the Falcon was off the table.
"The new Police Interceptor is to be engineered and built in the US, which indicates it is a US-only program. Ford Australia is not involved with the announcement of the new Police Interceptor," Mr Lacy said.
With Ford still to make a decision on the Falcon's place in CEO Alan Mulally's One Ford plan, the Taurus could find its way to Australia as its replacement. If that happens, the Police Interceptor could well find a place in the fleets of Australia's police forces.
Based on the current-generation US-market Ford Taurus, the Police Interceptor is powered by a 196kW 3.5 litre V6 engine, with a more powerful 272kW/475Nm EcoBoost V6-powered model available for high-speed pursuits. Specific performance figures have not been revealed.
Both models are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, with a column-mounted shifter to free up space in the centre console.
Inside, the Police Interceptor is fitted with the requisite law enforcement equipment, while the body has been reinforced to take a 120km/h rear-end collision and keep going.
A special heavy-duty curtain airbag protects occupants in the event of a side impact or a rollover.
Ford's Police Interceptor will go up against GM's Australian-developed Chevrolet Caprice PPV and the Dodge Charger as the US' various law enforcement agencies consider which vehicles will best suit their needs once the Crown Victoria is retired.