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The Calumet Region-made Police Interceptor Utility beat out all other police vehicles, including V8-powered sedans, in a key test that's widely respected among police departments nationwide.

Ford makes Police Interceptor Utility, the No. 1 selling police vehicle in America, at the Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewisch. It accounted for 52 percent of all sales to law enforcement agencies last year and is almost as ubiquitous as the old Crown Vic.

Michigan State Police testing concluded the all-new 2020 Police Interceptor Utility posted the fastest zero to 60 mph, zero to 100 mph, lap, and average lap times on a 32-lap race course, according to preliminary results.

The souped-up version of the Fort Explorer attained the fastest overall top speed of 150 mph, and the new hybrid version that will soon be made in the 2.9 million-square-foot factory on the banks of the Calumet River topped out at 137 mph.

“The all-new 2020 Police Interceptor Utility offers significant potential fuel savings with no trade-offs in safety, passenger or cargo space — on top of bringing improved performance,” Police Brand Marketing Manager Stephen Tyler said.

The SUV is expected to get at least 24 mpg, a 40 percent improvement that is expected to save police departments $3,500 per year. Police around the country would save 43 million gallons, or more than $126 million, extrapolating from 2017 sales figures and gas prices.

Sales of the Police Interceptor Utility have grown for five straight years, with a 5 percent gain so far this year. Ford is now taking orders for the 2020 Police Interceptor Utility that will be made in Hegewisch and plans to start shipping the new vehicles out in summer of next year.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.