The last couple of months have seen three different police vehicle concepts unveiled by each of the domestic automakers: the Chevrolet Caprice Police Detective PPV from GM, the new Dodge Charger Pursuit from Chrysler and the Taurus Interceptor from Ford. Now, the Blue Oval has unveiled a second Police Interceptor vehicle based on the latest 2011 Ford Explorer SUV.

Joining the Taurus Interceptor late next year as an additional replacement vehicle for the outgoing Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, the new Explorer Interceptor promises greater fuel economy--as much as a 20 percent improvement--and new off-road capability.

2011 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor

2011 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor

The Explorer Interceptor is equipped with the highly efficient 3.5-liter V-6 engine. This Ti-VCT engine, delivering at least 280 horsepower and E85 compatibility, is mated to a custom six-speed automatic transmission--you'll note in the photos, the Interceptor gets a column-mounted shifter to reduce interference with the necessary gear that a console-mounted shifter causes.

The interior of the Explorer Interceptor has been modified to meet the needs of police work, including enhanced safety to withstand 75 mph rear-end crash testing, a special side-curtain rollover airbag for front and rear passengers--yes, criminals get safety enhancements, too--plus special Roll Fold technology to let the side curtain airbags slip between the passenger and window.

Both the Explorer and Taurus Interceptors will be manufactured at Ford’s Chicago assembly plant and will be out on patrol by late next year.