Ford's Police Interceptors, now serving as NASCAR pace cars.Enlarge Photo
When Kyle Busch
got stopped for doing 128 mph behind the wheel of a Lexus LFA
last May, he probably never thought that he’d get a chance to chase down a police cruiser later in the year.
Busch must really appreciate the irony of Ford’s latest announcement, then: the automaker’s Police Pursuit Vehicles will be used to pace the upcoming NASCAR race at Miami’s Homestead Speedway.
Both the Ford-Taurus-based Police Interceptor Sedan and the Ford-Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility
will be used to pace the field throughout the weekend, with the Utility getting the nod as the lead pace car.
Packing a 3.7-liter V-6, good for “at least” 300 horsepower sent to all four wheels, the Interceptor Utility is the first utility vehicle to be “pursuit rated” by Ford, which is probably why the automaker wants to show it off in front of the NASCAR Sprint Cup field.
The Police Interceptor Sedan
, which will be used as the split pace car, features a 3.5-liter, 365 horsepower EcoBoost V-6 and all wheel drive for superior traction. It’s based on the civilian Taurus SHO
, but uses heavier-duty components to cope with the needs and expectations of law enforcement agencies.
While we’re not keeping tabs on how many police agencies are buying the new Police Interceptors from Ford, we doubt they have the same take rate as the beloved Crown Victoria. By getting its new police cars in front of millions of television viewers, Ford hopes to build awareness of its law enforcement products.
Whether or not that results in more orders for Police Interceptors remains to be seen. We know this, though: the virtually indestructible and cheap-to-repair Crown Vic is an awfully tough act to follow.