Ford sells a lot of police cars, but none of them have been hybrids — until now. The company says its new Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan (which started life as a Ford Fusion Hybrid) could save police departments $3,900 per year in fuel use because cop cars spend so much of their time on, but idle.
The idea is that the big batteries in the car will allow the engine to shut off for brief periods while keeping all the electronics (lights, computers, radios, etc.) running. Ford says the car can save 0.27 gallons per hour of idle running, which adds up over multiple shifts considering the fact that police cars are driven constantly.
This is also expected to be the first “pursuit rated” hybrid, which means it’s been tested to withstand the abuse that cops dish out — thanks to upgraded suspension components, wheels, tires, and brakes. The car can ford 18-inch and 10-inch depths at 15 mph and 40 mph, respectively, as well as 8-inch curb impacts at speed. It also has a “maximum performance” mode that uses the full power of the hybrid system to help the car accelerate faster when the accelerator is held at 100 percent for five seconds.
Cops have unique needs, so the car includes a number of other police-specific features like anti-stab plates in the front seats, a movable rotary gear shift dial that can be relocated within the car depending on department needs, a certified speedometer (for catching speeders), additional power distribution in the trunk, and heavy-duty front door tethers (cops open their doors with purpose, apparently).
Ford expects the car to pass the punishing “pursuit-rating” testing from the Michigan State Police this fall. Ford is revealing the car with the environmentally-conscious LAPD this morning, which has previously ordered 100 electric BMWs for its fleet. Pricing has not yet been disclosed and the company will begin taking orders later this spring.