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Ford selling hybrid pursuit-rated sedan, first-ever pursuit-rated pickup

Posted by: Jennifer Gomori Posted date: July 27, 2018

— Excerpted from Ford Motor Company and media reports

Ford Motor Company is taking orders for two hybrid law enforcement vehicles and has brought the first-ever pursuit-rated pickup truck to market.

Ford revealed its 2019 Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, the first pursuit-rated hybrid vehicle designed for urban or local patrol work, at the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters. This hybrid concept car is part of Ford’s $4.5 billion global push for electrification.

Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company
Ford’s F-150 Police Responder has off-road capabilities and is the first-ever pursuit rated truck.

In November, Ford introduced its first plug-in hybrid police vehicle – the Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, designed for police and fire chiefs, detectives, and other government personnel whose jobs don’t require a pursuit-rated vehicle. “This is the first Ford police vehicle that can potentially get through an entire shift using no gasoline whatsoever,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford police brand marketing manager said in a governmentfleet.com article. “Anyone can plug this in to any wall outlet to run gas and emissions-free on battery-only operation.”

Available for sale is the 2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder™, designed with nearly seven decades of experience spent on the road with American law enforcement. But this vehicle isn’t limited roadwork. It has FX4 off-road capability including a purpose-tuned suspension, electronic-locking rear axle and underbody skid plates. The brakes have been upgraded from the consumer F-150, and police-pursuit calibrated.

The interior of all three vehicles features heavy-duty cloth front seats with slim or reduced bolsters for officer comfort and those wearing duty belts, rear anti-stab plates and vinyl rear seating and flooring for easy cleanup.

Testing by the Michigan State Police confirms Ford is first to offer law enforcement agencies a pursuit-rated hybrid police car and full-size pickup truck. The Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan and F-150 Police Responder successfully completed rigorous testing conducted by Michigan State Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Ford tested the Police Responder Hybrid to ensure it handles police pursuits for longer periods at different speeds and over obstacles such as curbs and flooded intersections.


The Special Service Plug-In Hybrid is designed for police & fire chiefs, detectives and other government personnel who don’t’ require pursuit-rated vehicles.

The 2019 Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan can drive up to 21 miles on electricity. The onboard charger allows agencies to fully charge the 7.6-kW-hour battery in 2.5 hours on a 240-volt, Level 2 charger. However, most agencies won’t need more than a regular 120-volt wall outlet to recharge, according to Ford. The lithium-ion battery can move the vehicle up to 85 mph on battery power alone. Once the battery runs down, the vehicle is powered by its gasoline-electric hybrid powerplant for up to 500 plus miles.

The interior features a reinforced top tray for mounting equipment, metal console mounting plate, red and white task lighting in the overhead console, police engine-idle feature, alloy wheels, and an auxiliary power distribution box in the trunk. Options include: a driver spot lamp, trunk storage vault, trunk ventilation system, and a rear door control-disabling feature. A dark-car feature allows the dash to be dimmed 100% for surveillance, and several other emergency lighting packages like those found on other Ford police vehicles.

The Special Service Plug-In can be ordered now, with sales beginning this summer.

“Our new Fusion-based Police Responder Hybrid Sedan is quicker than our legendary V8-powered Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, while offering fuel efficiency that’s estimated to be double that,” Tyler said.

Pursuit mode kicks in when an officer floors the accelerator, said Allen Magolan, Ford’s police vehicle engineering manager, in a policemag.com article. Ford uses a continuously variable transmission (CVT) so the sedan won’t downshift to a lower gear in a turn and lose momentum. “The CVT is best because it’s able to adjust based on the vehicle’s speed, engine speed, and cornering,” Magolan said. “When the vehicle is driven hard, it would use both the gas motor and the e-motor. And when you’re off the gas, or braking, it would regenerate as much as possible so that it would build the charge back up.”

Ford revealed its all-new Police Responder Hybrid Sedan which is now available for order, the first pursuit-rated hybrid vehicle designed for urban or local patrol work.

The front-wheel-drive is based on a Fusion design, but calibrated specifically for police use, says Tony Gratson, national government sales manager for Ford, in the policemag.com article. “When the officer goes into his pursuit, it will provide max power,” Gratson said. “It’s not set up like a retail vehicle. It’s calibrated for police. The engines work together. There will be times when you’re running gasoline and electric or electric only. And, at idle, the vehicle will be able to save fuel.”

It is projected to get an EPA-estimated 38 mpg combined (40 mpg city/36 mpg highway), which Ford says is more than double the EPA-estimated rating of 18 mpg combined for the 3.7L Police Interceptor AWD gasoline sedan. The Responder also reduces fuel consumption when idling by using the lithium-ion hybrid battery to power its electrical load. The Responder can save 1,550 gallons of gasoline per year, according to Ford, which equates to about $3,900 annually compared to a Police Interceptor Sedan. (Fleet managers can use an online calculator at www.fordpoliceresponder.com to estimate savings for their fleets.) Fewer fill-ups also means less downtime for officers, according to Ford.

Ford worked with its 25 Police Advisory Board members to get input on the vehicle, and some of the biggest municipal police departments in the country are considering the addition of hybrids to their fleets or currently using non-patrol hybrids. LAPD recently added 100 BMW i3 battery-electric vehicles to its fleet for non-patrol work. In 2010, the New York Police Department began buying retail Nissan Altima Hybrid and later Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans for patrol duty. The department passed along feedback to Ford that was incorporated into the Responder. “Very dependable, low maintenance, things like brake life is greater, use less fuel, less oil changes,” said Robert Martinez, deputy commissioner of NYPD’s special services bureau, in the policemag.com article.

Special features of the Police Responder Hybrid include: front deflector plates to help prevent vehicle damage; heavy-duty suspension; police-tuned regenerative braking system with 17-inch rotors and twin-piston calipers; police instrumentation with pursuit mode indicator; auxiliary power distribution box in trunk, plus rear power lug; load-bearing battery cover that provides extra storage space in trunk and similar 102.8 cubic feet of interior space, comparable to the Ford PI Sedan.


The 2018 F-150 Police Responder has the highest horsepower and greatest torque of any pursuit-rated police vehicle. Its 3.5L EcoBoost® engine generates 375 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque coupled to a 10-speed transmission to maximize acceleration and performance. “Our new F-150 Police Responder offers police customers both on-road pursuit and off-road capability,” Tyler said.

The F-150 Police Responder is built for police operations in demanding conditions, featuring a revolutionary body-on-frame construction using high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy in its body and bed which is bolted to a fully boxed high-strength steel frame. It can move officers and equipment to remote locations with a versatile 5-1/2′ box for cargo. A Class IV trailer hitch is standard, with a Trailer Tow Package available. In addition to Normal operation, available transmission settings include Tow/Haul, Snow/Wet, EcoSelect and Sport.

The F-150 Police Responder has 131.8 cubic feet of interior passenger volume – the most of any pursuit-rated police vehicle. Other F-150 patrol features include:
• A high-output 240-amp alternator for extended idle times also meets the requirements for additional onboard electrical power.
• The speedometer is specially calibrated for patrol use. An engine-hour meter and engine idle-hour meter are both standard equipment.
• An advanced brake system with upgraded calipers and brake pads with unique friction materials designed for police-pursuit applications.
• Payload capacity is 2,030 lbs. with a standard towing capacity of 7,000 lbs. In both cases, they’re the best of any pursuit-rated police vehicle.

• The Police Responder Hybrid Sedan starts at $30,035.
• Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan starts at $35,620.
• F-150 Police Responder start at $42,515.
Ford plans to release another hybrid-electric pursuit-rated vehicle by 2020.

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