It's not only a hugely lucrative business, it's a great showcase for their products.
A couple weeks ago, Chrysler grabbed the police-vehicle headlines, claiming its 2014 Dodge Charger Pursuit AWD sedan had achieved the fastest lap time ever for an all-wheel-drive police car at the Michigan State Police’s (MSP) annual Police Vehicle Evaluation held at Grattan Raceway in Belding, Michigan.
According to the company, the new Ford EcoBoost-powered Police Interceptor sedan bested both the Chevrolet Caprice V-8 and Hemi Dodge Charger in acceleration at the MSP tests, while the Ford Police Interceptor utility with EcoBoost defeated the V-8-equipped Chevrolet Tahoe.
"These tests conducted by the Michigan State Police are an important validation of best-in-class performance in outright acceleration – the most critical measure of police pursuit vehicles," said Bill Gubing, Ford chief engineer.
"Agencies tell us if the bad guys see the police vehicle quickly close in pursuit, they're less likely to try to run," he added.
Preliminary results of Michigan State Police testing showed that the 2014 Ford Police Interceptor sedan, with standard all-wheel drive – posted a 0-to-60 mph (96.6 km/h) time of 5.66 seconds, compared to 6.04 seconds for the 5.7-litre Hemi-equipped Dodge Charger with optional all-wheel drive.
The Ford EcoBoost-powered sedan also topped the 6.0-litre V-8-equipped Chevrolet Caprice, which clocked a 6.01-second 0-60 mph (96.6 km/h) time.
Tha gap in acceleration ability grows as speed increases. In the MSP 0-100 mph (160.9 km/h) testing, the Ford Police Interceptor turned a 13.5-second 0-100 mph time, while the Dodge Charger posted 14.70 seconds and Chevrolet Caprice took 14.35 seconds.
Compared to the 5.3-litre V--powered Chevrolet Tahoe, which posted a 0-60 mph (96.6 km/h) time of 8.22 seconds and a 0-100 mph (160.9 km/h) time of 21.95 seconds, the Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicle with standard all-wheel achieved those speeds in 6.28 and 15.51 seconds respectively.
Ford aid approximately 60% of its Police Interceptor sales are the utility vehicle, with 40 % for the sedan.
The Police Interceptor led the Tahoe in the 0-100 mph (160.9 km/h) test too – 21.0 seconds to 21.95 seconds.
Switching from traditional V-8-equipped police vehicles to powerful but more efficient Ford EcoBoost V-6 vehicles saves police departments money, according to the company.
Ford also announced in September the availability of a new non-pursuit-rated, fuel-efficient 2.0-litre EcoBoost-equipped Special Service Police sedan for non-pursuit service.