Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan Apr 28, 2017 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
During the New York Auto Show, Ford showed off its new pursuit-rated Police Responder Hybrid Sedan. This model aims to dramatically reduce the emissions, fuel consumption, and other environmentally harmful results of the number of miles a police car sees. Between the tens of thousands of miles, these vehicles accumulate a year and their long hours spent idling, police cars can take their toll on the planet and on the budget—making a hybrid all the more appealing if it still delivers the juice for a high-speed pursuit. The Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan aims to capitalize on this lack in the market and has even worked with both the Los Angeles Police Department and Michigan State Police to test the vehicle.
The Hybrid Powertrain
The Ford Police Responder Hybrid powertrain is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with an Atkinson cycle paired with regenerative brakes and a lithium-ion battery and motor system. When running on just electric power, the sedan can reach 60 mph, and it gets 38 mpg combined. This makes it twice as efficient as its conventional counterpart, the Ford Police Interceptor. At 60 mph the regular engine takes over, and the Responder can surge into pursuit mode. Ultimately, Ford hopes the significant savings while idling ($3,800 per car average a year according to one estimate) will make their hybrid a hit with the police force. Most police cars end up idling for hours, so their lights, radios, and more can keep running, but because of the hybrid system, this isn’t necessary with the Police Responder Hybrid Sedan.
Made Tough for the Force
Since the Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan will be working hard, Ford has included some very important features. There is additional cooling in the trunk and under the hood as well as huge 17-inch brakes (hypercars tend to max out at about 15.8-inch brakes) plus a beefed up suspension so policemen can drive over curves. This vehicle can also ford water that is 10 inches deep while going 40 mph or cross railroad tracks at 30 mph. The instrument display has its own police-specific displays spread between two LCD screens. Of course, the upholstery is designed to hold up to hard wear, and the seats have reduced bolsters so those with loaded heavy-duty belts can still get in and out. The back seats have heavy-duty anti-stab plates to protect officers and a stripped-down interior so that criminals have nowhere to hide contraband or weapons.
Of course, the Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan will cost more than the Police Interceptor, but Ford has run the numbers and figured out that this is a very smart investment for police forces. Within a year, the force will break even, assuming the sedan goes 20,000 miles in that year, working on two shifts, and idling for around ten hours each day. Given that police departments will keep and repair their fleet for decades, if possible, the savings will add up fast. For departments who doubt the math, there is an online calculator for this particular model to show them how much they’ll save. Hybrid fleets might be the next step for Ford’s police program.