Dodge has announced that all-wheel-drive (AWD) is returning as an option for its 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 powered police cruisers. While AWD was available a few years back, it’s been missing from the police sedan lineup since the Charger was updated for the 2011 model year.
According to Car and Driver, the system is identical to that used on standard production versions of the Dodge Charger and the Chrysler 300. Under normal driving conditions, power is sent only to the rear wheels, with drive to the front wheels disengaged. When rear wheel slip is detected, torque is sent to the front wheels as well.
The net result is AWD with virtually no penalty to fuel economy, with civilian versions of the AWD Charger returning just 1 mpg less in the city and 2 mpg less on the highway.
Ford has also raised its law enforcement game to include the 3.7-liter V-6 as an option on the Taurus-based Police Interceptor sedan. The 305-horsepower V-6 serves as a mid-range offering, slotting in between the base 3.5-liter V-6 (with 288 horsepower) and the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 (with 365 horsepower).
2012 Ford Police Interceptor
Car and Driver says that all 3.7-liter Police Interceptors will come standard with all-wheel-drive, giving departments in colder climates year-round traction. By our reckoning, that makes the base 3.5-liter V-6 the only Ford Police Interceptor still available with front-wheel-drive.
For departments running the Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility, the move makes good sense as both vehicles will share a common V-6 engine, simplifying maintenance and repairs. It’s likely that Ford will keep the 3.5-liter V-6 in the lineup as a concession to budget-minded departments who don’t need (or can’t afford) an AWD fleet.