Ford’s superb new police trucks: F-150 Responder for US, Ranger for Australia
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Skodas are very capable cop cars. Just ask the New Zealand Police. But really, is there anything cooler than a “police truck”?
Meet Ford’s all-new 2021 F-150 Police Responder for the United States, with unique features such as enhanced top speed (193km/h) and Police Engine Idle, which lets an officer remove the key and exit the truck while keeping lights and sirens active.
The 298kW 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine, 10-speed automatic gearbox and automatic all-wheel drive system are calibrated for heavy duty use and the Police Responder’s higher top speed. It also rides on specially developed Goodyear LT265/70 R18 Wrangler Enforcer (fantastic name) rubber.
The new torque-on-demand transfer case includes a 4-Auto mode that Ford says allows officers to “set and forget”. On concrete it runs in RWD for better handling, but 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”.
The Police Responder comes as standard with the F-150 FX4 Off-Road package, including skid plates, special shocks, locking rear axle and Hill Descent Control.
The front seats have special bolsters that make it easier for officers wearing duty belts to get in and out. There’s a universal top tray and the “40-blank-40” front seat configuration lets individual agencies fit their own centre consoles.
The darker-coloured interior has heavier-grade cloth upholstery and the seatbacks are fitted with steel intrusion plates for officer safety. The LED warning beacons are pre-installed and come in red/blue, amber, or amber/white.
Closer to home, the Ford Ranger ute is now heading out on patrol in Australia.
Victoria Police announced it will add 280 Rangers to its fleet of police vehicles. The utes have been converted into divisional vans, with a custom made custody compartment replacing the open tray area. Ford says the custody area is a secure two-person transfer unit that has air conditioning and video surveillance.
The roll-out of the new Ranger police vehicles is a win for Ford Australia’s Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE) team, which had a large input in helping customising the vehicle for the Victorian Police.
And Ford also collaborated with Aussie outfit Centaur, which designed and built the rear custody area, to help integrate the custom fitting seamlessly.
Simone Crankshaw, SVE Ranger and Everest Program Management Supervisor says: “Design and development of the Ford Ranger is led in Australia, and this Ford Ranger-based divisional van offers Victoria Police high levels of active and passive safety and the peace of mind that it can handle whatever is thrown at it. We’re positive Victoria Police officers will enjoy driving it.”
And of course we can't finish without mentioning the Ranger Raptor that's been on police trial in the UK, in South Wales, since last year.
Ford argues that the Raptor is ideal for pursuit because it's "capable of travelling off-road almost as quickly as on it" and it "may prove to be the perfect tool to access some of the UK’s most rural locations".