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Two new police cars complete harsh testing, are ready for duty

There’s no true definition of the term “pursuit rated,” but third-party testing confirms these cars are up to the task of police work.

The words “pursuit rated” don’t mean anything beyond marketing speak, but independent tests from the Michigan State Police prove that Ford’s two new police cars are capable of handling whatever kind of police work is thrown at them.

The Michigan State Police just finished testing both the 2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder and the 2019 Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, and Ford claims their success earns them the “pursuit rated” term.

Ford’s hybrid, which is modeled after the Fusion, proved quicker than the V8-powered Crown Victoria cop car of yore. It’s also wildly more efficient — the hybrid is estimated at 40 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, compared to the 16-mpg-city and 24-mpg-highway ratings of the Crown Vic. Its gas engine is a 2.0-liter I4 running the Atkinson cycle, which is more efficient than the traditional Otto cycle. It can run on electricity only at speeds up to 60 mph.

The F-150 Police Responder, based off the 2018 F-150, doesn’t have a competitor against which to benchmark, because it’s the first truck to carry Ford’s pursuit rating. Its 3.5-liter V6 puts out 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, and it can travel both on- and off-road. It can also tow 7,000 pounds, because police occasionally use boats, as well.

Michigan State Police is one of a small handful of outfits that independently tests new police vehicles. In addition to acceleration tests, MSP simulated a pursuit at Grattan Raceway over the course of 32 laps. Other tests looked at component durability, including suspension, brakes and tires.

Ford could have sold its new police vehicles without doing any sort of third party testing, but MSP’s battery of tests likely help contribute to increased sales. As Sam Abuelsamid wrote for Forbes, “Pursuit rated is an internal term developed by Ford to describe the police vehicles it sells that have been enhanced to support the tougher duty cycles of patrol vehicles such as stronger brakes and electrical systems that can support all of the lights, radios and computers these vehicles carry.”

So, even though it might just be words for marketing’s sake, testing confirms that Ford’s two new cop cars are more than capable of sliding into the lineup alongside other established police vehicles.

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