The constant one-upmanship game between the Big Three automakers and their fleet of police-ready vehicles hasn’t finished yet. Heck, it really hasn’t begun.
Every year, the Michigan State Police run the patrol vehicles of Chevrolet, Ford, and Dodge through a gauntlet of exercises to see which one is the best. It is, by far, the most exhaustive evaluative test for police vehicles in the nation and one that police units all over the U.S. to determine how to order their next fleet of vehicles.
First, Dodge said that its Charger Pursuit just set a new lap record for a patrol car around Grattan Raceway in Michigan, besting both the Ford Taurus-based Interceptor and Chevrolet Caprice PPV. Now, Ford is striking back, saying that both the Interceptor and Explorer-based Interceptor Utility Vehicle are quicker in a straight line.
The all-wheel-drive Taurus, powered by a 365-horsepower, 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6, hits 60 mph in a staggeringly quick 5.66 seconds. By comparison, the next-quickest rear-wheel-drive, V-8-powered Caprice did the same feat in 6.01 seconds, and the Dodge needed 6.04 seconds with the Hemi V-8 and all-wheel drive. Curiously, we don’t yet know how the lighter rear-wheel-drive Charger fared. The Ford furthered its lead by 0.8 and 1.2 seconds, respectively, hitting 100 mph in 13.5 seconds. By comparison, the outgoing Ford Crown Victoria, which is still widely used, hit 60 mph in around 8 seconds and would hit 100 mph in the 16- to 17-second range.
Ford says its Utility Vehicle was quicker than the Chevrolet Tahoe as well. Ford tested its all-wheel-drive Explorers against the rear-drive Tahoe, which doesn’t have an all-wheel-drive variant for police duty. The Explorer hit 60 mph in 8.02 seconds with the standard engine and 6.28 seconds with the EcoBoost engine. Chevrolet posted an 8.22-second run with its bigger, heavier Tahoe.
With the Crown Vic giving up so much of the market–around 60 percent–it’s important for all of the automakers to keep puffing out their chests to gain a crucial foothold with law enforcement.
Surely, each automaker will get its turn to shine over the next few months, as the Michigan State Police are still evaluating the vehicles. We should note that while we loved the Dodge Charger when we had an all-wheel-drive Hemi-powered R/T model in earlier this year, we felt the Ford Taurus SHO was as space-inefficient as a car its size could get. Surely other measures beyond outright performance will be put into the equation when MSP gives its final report.