LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Police Department may be among the first police departments to use the world’s first “pursuit-rated” hybrid police car from Ford Motors Company. The vehicle, named The Ford Police Responder Hybrid, was introduced at the LAPD police headquarters on Monday, April 10. Chief Charlie Beck and officers helped to unveil two of the new vehicles at the ceremony.
The Los Angeles Times reported several aspects of the car, calling it a “pursuit-rated” Ford Fusion. Engineers upgraded the suspension and added a regenerative braking system, along with wheels and tires that can withstand high-performance driving. A skid plate was attached and the seats were changed to make room for police utility belts. An “anti-stab” plate was also added to the seats to prevent sharp tools from penetrating through the back seat.
Ford recently announced that the car won “pursuit-rated” stripes in testing by Michigan State Police and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
According to reports, the Responder reaches 0 mph to 60 mph at the same time the Crown Victoria-based Interceptor police vehicle does. In a 2016 law enforcement testing, the Interceptor reached 0 mph to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, beating the Dodge’s Charger police car at 6.6 seconds and the Chevrolet’s police Caprice at 6.7 seconds. The vehicle contains a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gas engine, with an electric motor powered by a 1.4 kilowatt lithium ion battery, and gets 38 miles to a gallon of gasoline.
Details such as pricing and specifications have not been established. LAPD representatives have not disclosed to what degree the department will invest in the vehicles.
Public Information Director Josh Rubenstein of the LAPD informed the LA Times, that the department will buy at least 300 hybrid and hybrid electric plug-in vehicles by 2020. Charging stations and infrastructure will be built for support.
The Ford Police Responder Hybrid may be produced early next year and may be driven by LAPD units by late 2018.