I think this imposing vehicle, which also comes in unmarked car form, offers an important clue about the future of law enforcement: preventing crimes by tapping into a car's infotainment system or global positioning via satellite. But, that is a topic for a different day. To learn more on this #RoadBeast that notched an impressive 48% sales increase in 2013 (Ford has 50% market share in police vehicles), and has a model with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that goes from 0-60 in 5.66 seconds (Dodge Charger: 5.69 seconds), I talked with Ford's Police Marketing Manager Jonathan Honeycutt:
No doubt about it, the Ford Interceptor sedan and Crossover are visually (and rightfully so!) intimidating. Take us through the design process on how this eco-friendly beast on four wheels came to life.
"The Next Generation Police Interceptor started being developed roughly three to four years before its inception. We built upon the Police DNA from Crown Victoria of Safe, Durable, Performance, Purpose Built, and Upfit Friendly to make the current Police Interceptors a great choice for Police Agencies. We also obtained feedback from our Police Advisory Board throughout the whole design process."
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When sitting down with police departments, what do you and your team hear from them regarding new needs for fighting crime in 2014 relative to when they purchased a Crown Victoria 5-10 years ago?
"Police Agencies' needs for Police still gear around vehicles that are safe, durable, performance oriented, purpose built, and Upfit friendly. Ford provides Police Interceptors that meet these needs with attributes such as 75mph rear crash, standard Full-Time All-Wheel Drive, and our powerful and efficient EcoBoost engines."
I am curious on what you have seen from an aftermarket parts perspective for the Interceptor. What types of fun equipment add-ons, say mobile tech based, are departments undertaking following delivery of an entirely new fleet?
"Each agency is unique in the equipment they decide to put on vehicles, but agencies have many different lighting options, partitions in the vehicles, cameras facing forward and rear, systems that detect if a person is approaching the police vehicle if an officer is idling working on something, embedded screen, and much more."
About how many Crown Victoria police cars would you estimate are still in service? I suspect there could be a boom in demand for the Interceptor over the next five years as Crown Victoria's reach their useless life.
"I would estimate over 200,000 Crown Victoria Police Interceptors are still in operation. They will be rotating out of service as the agencies replacement them with new Police Interceptors. The law enforcement market is still recovering from the recession."