Metro Police Could Drive a New Crop of Cruisers

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For decades, the Crown Victoria has been the vehicle of choice for law enforcement, but the car we all hate to see in our rear-view mirror is about to change.

"The Crown Vic doesn't have near as much control," said Lawrence, Kan. police captain Bill Cory.  "The throttle is wide open.  You have to really drive the Crown Vic."

Going zero to 60 miles-per-hour in six seconds and hugging curves at 75-miles-per-hour, the police captain was among the first to try Ford's latest police fleet - the Interceptor , based on the Taurus, and the Interceptor Utility, based on the Explorer.

"I think it makes it safer," said Cory.  "In day-to-day driving the safety features of the new car that weren't available on the Crown Vic make it a safer car for a day-to-day driver car."

For nearly 100 years, police cars had to improvise from available models like the Ford Crown Victoria, but for the first time Ford has created a vehicle with police officers in mind.

"It's very exciting," said Tony Gratson, the government sales manager for Ford.  "New engines have better performance, better fuel economy.  The all wheel drive system [has] a better ride and [better] handling than the rear wheel drive.  So we're very proud.  We're bringing to the marketplace new vehicles, new technology to help police officers do their job."

The Captain said his department will evaluate the cost as well as comparable models from other makers before it  commits to the Interceptor, which will hit the roads as early as February 2012.

The new model Interceptors will be made in Illinois, Ohio and Michigan with a base cost of $20,570.

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