As much as automotive enthusiasts would like to believe otherwise, not every police vehicle needs to be able to perform a high-speed pursuit. Luckily, “as agencies look to replace older, V8-equipped cruisers with more efficient cars, Ford is at the ready with the most fuel-efficient — yet still very capable — full-size police vehicle”, said Ford police marketing manager Jonathan Honeycutt.
Mr. Honeycutt is referring to Ford’s recently-announced Special Service Police Sedan (SSPS) that achieves unprecedented fuel economy. As with Ford’s Police Interceptor Sedans, the vehicle in question is a modified Ford Taurus. But while existing trim levels of Ford’s police sedan offer a choice of six-cylinder engines, the non-pursuit-rated SSPS will draw motivation from Ford’s 2.0 liter EcoBoost four-banger making 240 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque while achieving impressive fuel economy figures. In other words, the special service police sedan is — for all intents and purposes — a Ford Taurus 2.0 EcoBoost that has been modified for police use.
In a press release, The Blue Oval stated that its releasing the fuel efficient police sedan due to “the request of law enforcement agencies looking to reduce fuel costs”. Indeed, Ford expects the SSPS to be the first law enforcement vehicle to achieve 30 mpg or better in EPA highway ratings, which are expected to be released in December. For reference, the consumer-focused Taurus with the 2.0 liter EcoBoost engine mated to the standard six-speed automatic transmission is rated at 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined.
Helping the Special Service Police Sedan achieve best-in-class fuel economy will be Active Grille Shutters that manage airflow to optimize the balance between engine cooling and aerodynamics.
The resulting fuel savings are nothing short of impressive, especially when compared to the vehicle that the Police Interceptor Sedan/Special Service Police Sedan replaces — the Ford Crown Victoria. Powered by Ford’s infamous 4.6 liter V8, the Crown Vic achieved a measly 14 mpg city, 21 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined, while the new 2.0-liter EcoBoost Special Service Police Sedan is expected to return 20 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined.
A quick calculation results in rather eye-opening monetary gains resulting from the switch to the Taurus-based police sedan: with gas at $3.65 a gallon and a 30,000 mile-per-year usage cycle, which is not abnormal for police agency work, savings could add up to $5,040.92 over the course of three years.
Outside of its impressive fuel economy, Ford’s Special Service Police Sedan doesn’t compromise in any other areas, as it retains all of the essential police DNA that goes into pursuit-rated Police Interceptor sedans, including safety and durability features. Plus it is upfit-friendly and purpose-built, with commonality of parts remaining an integral part of the Special Service Police Sedan.
The addition of the 2.0 liter EcoBoost engine — winner of Ward’s 10 Best engines earlier in 2013 — brings the total count of powerplants offered in Ford’s Police Interceptor sedans to four — one four-cylinder (the 2.0 liter EcoBoost) and three six-cylinder powerplants, including a FWD 3.5 liter V6, an AWD 3.7 liter V6, and the powerhouse 3.5 liter V6 EcoBoost AWD. This wide array of powerplants allows police agencies to choose the powerplant that best meets their patrol requirements… and who doesn’t like choice?