Ford has labeled its newest vehicle the “2021 F-150 Police Responder,” but for many motorists it might come to be known as the “Nightmare in the Rear View Mirror.”
Ford says its new police vehicle is “America’s only purpose-built, pursuit-rated pickup truck,” and is being released just as state and local governments begin their annual spring bid cycles.
Among the truck’s features are a 120 mph top speed; Police Engine Idle, which allows the key to be removed and the truck to keep running to power lights and sirens; a new automatic four-wheel-drive mode and torque-on-demand transfer case; standard Sync 4 with wireless software updates, plus available Ford Telematics to reduce vehicle downtime and unscheduled maintenance “so law enforcement fleets can stay on patrol.”
Of course, if you’re not violating the speed limit or breaking other driving regulations, you might be happy to see first responders on the road and ready to offer help when needed.
Ford produced its first F-150 Police Responder in 2017 as “a unique all-terrain law enforcement tool.” The newest version is built on the F-150 SuperCrew platform and, Ford notes, offers greater towing capacity, payload and interior passenger space than any other police-pursuit vehicle.
“Law enforcement agencies told us they would love to add F-150 Police Responder towing, hauling and off-road performance to their fleets, but they need more confidence in speed and handling,” according to Greg Ebel, Ford police vehicle brand manager.
“Whether suburban police departments, border patrol agents or rural sheriffs, officers never know where the job might take them, but the all-new F-150 Police Responder provides a pickup truck option engineered to get them there faster and with greater agility than ever before.”
For the new police vehicle, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine is tuned to 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. Special Goodyear Wrangler Enforcer all-terrain tires were developed for the truck.
In regard to the new torque-on-demand transfer case, Ford notes that it includes a 4-Auto mode. “On high-friction surfaces such as dry pavement, the system runs in two-wheel drive for maximum performance and improved handling around corners, avoiding the ‘crow-hopping’ that commonly slows a four-wheel-drive vehicle. If a pursuit shifts to slick or loose surfaces, the 4-Auto system simultaneously directs power to all four wheels, allowing officers to remain focused on the job at hand.”
“On dry pavement is where you see the real payoff, because it allows you to carry more speed when cornering – a rare benefit in a pickup truck,” said Allen Magolan, Ford police vehicles integration manager.
The new trucks will roll out of Ford’s Kansas City truck assembly plant this fall, so consider yourself to be forewarned.