Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Drive the 2013 Ford Police Interceptors, of course! Thanks to the folks at Ford and their Go Further event this past week, I was able to engage in multiple hot pursuits along a closed course filled with police-related obstacles represented by an army of orange cones. Nevertheless, this was my favorite event of the entire week because for the first time, I got to be the one doing the chasing. Unfortunately, my training behind the wheel of a 5-0 mobile did nothing to improve my rather "colorful" driving history.
The 2013 Ford Police Interceptors come in two flavors: the Ford Taurus Sedan and Ford Explorer Utility. Remember my journey with the SHO? Well, take that car, add Hollywoods on the top, a siren and a few other hidden features like ballistic (bullet proof) front door panels and steel intrusion plates built into the seat backs just in case your perpetrator Houdinis his handcuffs and tries to shank you through the seat. The Ford Taurus Interceptor was also rear crash tested at 75MPH, and it passed, making highway pullovers a less daunting experience. Like the Taurus models, the Interceptor iteration will come with Ford Sync and a pair of 4.2-inch LCD screens in the dash and on the center stack. The Ford Taurus Interceptor comes in two flavors: the 3.5L TiVCT V6 FFV engine (288HP, 254 ft.-lbs. of torque) and the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 (365HP, 350 ft.-lbs. or torque, AWD). The TiVCT can top out at 131 MPH while its EcoBoost brother can hit 148 MPH.
After running the Taurus Interceptor around the track about 10 times, I got a chance to drive the Ford Explorer Utility Interceptor, which shares many of the same parts with the Taurus, including the rear differential and wheels/tires for easy interchangeability. The track for the Explorer was a bit different because it was about twice the size and completely doused with water. A professional driver sat beside me, coaching me through a few laps and making fun of my driving the entire time. I was floored by how well the Explorer handled corners and braking in the wet environment. With AdvanceTrac and RSC (Roll Stability Control), there was no way to roll the thing, and the ABS allowed the Explorer to stop on a dime.
While this experience was certainly one of the highlights of my career, I was left with a somber feeling at the end: it's getting harder and harder to outrun the cops.