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Dodge, Ford up the ante on police cars

Charger adds AWD, Interceptor gets more power from less fuel

Published: September 14, 2012, 1:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 4:02 PM

2014 Dodge Charger Pursuit AWD - Police

With the demise of Ford' big Crown Victoria last fall, police departments all over North America have to do their homework once again when seeking out their replacement wheels. There's no more default option.

Chrysler, Ford and GM are all vying for that business with dedicated models introduced last year: Chrysler with a Dodge Charger Pursuit; GM with Chevrolet Caprice and Tahoe PPVs, and Ford with Its Interceptors, in both sedan and SUV form.

It's tough competition for scarce police-department dollars and both Dodge and Ford are upping the ante in their quest for the biggest share of the pot.

Dodge Charger Pursuit

Dodge will add AWD (all-wheel-drive) as an option to its existing Charger Pursuit, which the company promotes as setting the fastest-ever lap time (1:33.70) in Michigan State Police’s Vehicle Evaluation Test history, at Grattan Raceway, in standard RWD (rear-wheel-drive) form.

Chrysler touts it as the most advanced AWD system in the segment, with a segment-exclusive active transfer case and front-axle-disconnect system that automatically enables AWD for slick conditions, while maintaining the performance and handling inherent in a rear-wheel- drive (RWD) architecture.

"Only Charger offers a front-axle disconnect that seamlessly transitions from the outstanding performance and handling of rear-wheel drive to the all-weather traction of all-wheel drive, with class-leading fuel economy and iconic styling," says Reid Bigland, President and CEO, Dodge Brand (and CEO of Chrysler Canada).

The AWD Pursuit is powered by a 370-hp 5.7-litre HEMI V-8 engine. A 292-hp 3.6-litre Pentastar V-6 engine is available in RWD models.

Police fleet customers will be able to order the Dodge Charger Pursuit with AWD for the 2014 model year.

Ford Police Interceptor Sedan

All-wheel-drive is standard on Ford's Police Interceptor sedan, which is now being offered with twin-independent variable-camshaft-timing (Ti-VCT) in its 3.7-litre V-6 engine, endowing it with increased power and better fuel efficiency, Ford says.

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"This combination of great performance and top-notch fuel economy means law enforcement agencies won’t have to compromise power or fuel efficiency while getting the job done," said Bill Gubing, chief engineer for Police Interceptor.

Ford’s Police Interceptor engine lineup now includes three V-6 engine options that perform better than V-8 engines of years past, the company says, allowing police forces to choose the one that best meets their patrol requirements.

The Police Interceptor sedan is now available with a standard 3.5-litre V-6, the new 3.7-liter V-6 and a high-performance 3.5-litre V-6 EcoBoost engine.

Adding to their desirability, both Ford Police Interceptors, sedan and utility vehicle, recently earned top safety ratings in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program testing, which combines vehicle performance in frontal and side-impact crash tests and resistance to rollover.

To develop the all-new Police Interceptor, Ford engineers worked hand-in-hand with Ford’s Police Advisory Board of law enforcement professionals, who provided input on key vehicle attributes such as safety, performance, durability, driver comfort and functionality.

Ford says its Police Interceptor is also engineered to pass extreme 120-km/h rear-end crash testing.

Whatever new police car you find looming in your rear-view mirror, you can be sure it's highly capable.