Hegewisch plant making a more fuel-efficient version of police cruiser

2013-12-14T23:30:00Z 2013-12-16T13:13:06Z Hegewisch plant making a more fuel-efficient version of police cruiserJoseph S. Pete joseph.pete@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 nwitimes.com
December 14, 2013 11:30 pm  • 

Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewisch is making a new fuel-efficient version of its popular Police Interceptor sedan for officers who are not likely to get into high-speed chases.

The automaker had produced a special service police sedan with an EcoBoost engine, for law enforcement agencies that want to cut fuel costs. The new model is intended for detectives, administrators and other officers who do not need the horsepower for high-speed pursuits.

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certification found the car gets a combined city/highway driving mileage of 24 miles per gallon, making it the most fuel-efficient police cruiser currently on the market. The interceptor also was the first to get 30 mpg in highway driving, the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker announced.

"Not every police officer needs a pursuit-rated vehicle," said Jonathan Honeycutt, Ford police marketing manager. "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."

The 2.0-liter engine still has 240 horsepower and 270 pounds per foot of torque.

Ford's new version of the Police Interceptor replaces a 4.6-liter V8 Crown Victoria that had a combined mileage of 17 mpg. Ford estimates police departments could save about $1,720 in fuel per car over three years, as compared to the most fuel-efficient alternatives, which are both rated at a combined 21 mpg.

A police agency with a fleet of 150 police cars could save an estimated $257,940 in gas over three years, Ford estimates.

"Agencies looking to reduce their fuel expenditures, especially for non-pursuit vehicles in small rural agencies, universities and for detective work will want to take a look," said Honeycutt. "We've had great feedback on the vehicle and had a lot of agencies asking about it."

Last year, the Ford plant at 126th Street and Torrence Avenue started making the new, next-generation Police Interceptors that replaced the Crown Vics that had been widely popular among police departments. The factory is now cranking out four different versions of the Police Interceptor sedan – each with a different powertrain option – as well as the Police Interceptor sport-utility vehicle.

Police Interceptor sedan sales were up by about 38 percent during the first 10 months of the year.

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