Next to be considered is Ford's new Taurus-based Police Interceptor. It comes with two engine choices: A 3.5-liter Duratec V-6; or a 3.5-liter, twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 the same engine that powers the Taurus SHO. The first delivers over 260 horsepower, the second over 350, with about 350 lb-ft of torque. Much like a sixteen-year-old whispering into his father's ear, most cops would probably urge their deciders to choose the twin-turbo EcoBoost. Luckily for them, the EcoBoost is only available with all-wheel drive. Since this satisfies one of our requirements, it is the only engine we'll be considering here.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Ford's Duratec-equipped Police Interceptor is available in an all-wheel-drive model, too, but some law enforcement agencies might go for the front-wheel-drive option. And, with everything else they'll be doing, we can't have police officers trying to stomp on the emergency brake to induce rear-wheel drift trying to look good during a chase. So the Duratec is out, and the direct-injection, variable-intake-valve-timing, 10:1-compression EcoBoost is in. Did we mention it has two turbochargers?
For handling, we'll look to the Taurus SHO as a benchmark. Besides the brakes, which have 60% more swept area than an SHO's, and unspecified improvements that enable the Police Interceptor to take on 8-inch curbs, the two cars are more similar than not.
Since Ford's new Police Interceptor is based on the latest version of the Taurus, it is roomier than might be remembered by those of us who were around when Tauri competed with Camrys and Accords on the sales floors of American auto dealers. At over 4,300 pounds, it is also heavier. Weight and handling prowess can be mutually exclusive. Almost 60% of the PI's weight is up front, but the all-wheel-drive powertrain helps it power out of corners accurately, making it feel like a lighter car. And it registered 0.84gs on the skidpad. It might not catch a Corvette, but it might not lose sight of that 'Vette, either.
As for the aforementioned roominess, the front seat has about 39 inches of headroom, 42 inches of legroom, and 58 inches for our shoulders. The back seat has 38, 38, and 57, respectively. And there are twenty cubic feet waiting to be filled in the trunk.; In other words, payload capacity is quite satisfactory.