The just-unveiled Ford Police Responder Hybrid sedan is claimed to be the first hybrid vehicle with a 'pursuit-rating' from law enforcement agencies across the US.
The Ford Police Responder Hybrid is based on the Ford Fusion Hybrid, which features a 105kW/175Nm Atkinson-cycle 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a 35kW electric motor fed by a 1.4kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
All up, the Fusion Hybrid's drivetrain develops 140kW of power, and drives the front wheels via an electronic continuously variable transmission. Ford says the setup for the Police Responder Hybrid has been recalibrated for "law enforcement’s unique duty cycle", and is capable of operating in EV mode at up to 97km/h (60mph).
The Ford Fusion is the Mondeo's North American sibling. Although limited to the four-door sedan body style, the Fusion is available with naturally-aspirated and turbo four-pots, a turbocharged V6, as well as hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants.
Naturally the Police Responder Hybrid can be fitted with all the lights, sirens and other equipment required by US police agencies.
The centre tunnel has been stripped back to the bare minimum, with the the transmission dial, electronic parking brake, and USB port moved to a new section at the bottom of the centre console. This change allows individual law enforcement agencies to use or design storage compartments suitable for their radio, communication and weaponry needs.
Ford says the Fusion-based Police Responder Hybrid will have a combined fuel economy rating of 6.2L/100km, a significant improvement on the Taurus-based Police Interceptor, which is powered by a naturally-aspirated 3.7-litre V6 and is said to drink 13.1L/100km.
Based on an average of 32,200km (20,000mi) per year and with petrol priced at US$2.50 per gallon ($0.88 per litre), the automaker predicts the Police Responder Hybrid will save police departments around US$3900 ($5200) in fuel costs per year per car compared to the V6 Police Interceptor.
The order books for the Ford Police Responder Hybrid open soon, with the first deliveries expected during the northern summer.