Ford introduces a hybrid Police Interceptor Utility SUV as well as two new taxis, a diesel-powered Transit Connect and Fusion hybrid.
The all-new ʼ19 Police Interceptor Utility, described by Ford as the industry’s first pursuit-rated hybrid SUV, is expected to return projected EPA-estimated combined fuel economy of at least 24 mpg (9.8 L/100 km), an improvement of about 40% over the current Police Interceptor Utility’s 3.7L V-6.
The automaker says that while fuel-economy certification isn’t complete, anticipated fuel-economy gains, combined with expected fuel savings from reduced engine idling time, are expected to help save law-enforcement customers about $3,200 per vehicle in yearly fuel bills compared with the current model.
The Police Interceptor Utility hybrid has standard all-wheel drive and is projected to have improved pursuit performance in part through faster acceleration and a higher top speed than the previous V-6-powered model. Its hybrid batteries are placed inside the vehicle so as not to compromise passenger or cargo space, Ford says.
The ʼ19 Police Interceptor Utility, based on the Explorer midsize SUV, also reflects Ford’s plan to offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid or both versions for every new utility the automaker offers in North America. It goes on sale next summer.
The first-ever Fusion Hybrid Taxi is projected to return EPA-estimated ranges comparable to that of the Ford Police Responder Hybrid – 40/36 mpg (5.9-6.5 L/100 km) city/highway, Ford says, noting actual mileage will vary.
The Fusion Hybrid Taxi shares parts such as heavy-duty wheels with the Ford Police Responder Hybrid for improved durability. It includes a police-tuned suspension with increased ride height and calibrated high-performance brakes, plus steel wheels.
The ʼ19 Transit Connect Taxi equipped with available 1.5L EcoBlue diesel engine, is projected to return an EPA-estimated highway rating of at least 30 mpg (7.8 L/100 km). Final EPA-estimated ratings will be released in early 2019, Ford says.
The Transit Connect Taxi offers seating for five and more than 60 cu.-ft. (1,698 L) of cargo volume behind the recessed second row of seats. Dual sliding side doors are standard, as are a taxi upfit wiring harness and first-row side-curtain airbags. The new taxi also can be made wheelchair accessible through a modification featuring an easy-to-deploy ramp, Ford says.
Both taxi models go on sale by year-end.