Ezra Dyer: Thought Pursuit

From the June 2023 situation of Automobile and Driver.

The place I stay, the police drive some heavy-duty equipment. There’s the odd Ford Taurus hanging in there, however primarily it is Chevy Tahoes, Dodge Durangos, and Ford Explorers, with a wholesome smattering of V-8 Dodge Chargers. Someday, whereas I used to be daydreaming about municipal budgets (as I’m wont to do), I questioned: Would cops drive one thing smaller and extra efficient in the event that they obtained to share within the financial savings from a decrease buy value? And in that case, what would that quantity must be? If I have been a cop, I might suppose $1000 might persuade me to drive an Escape patrol automotive. However I’m not a cop—I needed to flip in my badge as a result of I play by no person’s guidelines however my very own—so I requested some police to hitch me on this thought experiment.

The first factor I realized is that everyone misses the Ford Crown Victoria. The second is that police chases are nonetheless far more widespread than I assumed, and thus prime velocity is definitely related. One sheriff’s deputy instructed me, “I drive a police-package Durango ruled to 132 mph, and I simply chased a Ford F-250 diesel that, speedwise, straight smashed all the things we had. So we want one thing that may each take successful to the physique and cross on the straights to arrange rolling blocks and get forward to dam intersections.” To reply your apparent follow-up query, sure, I stay in Hazzard County.

However even if you happen to put a premium on velocity, cops might do lots higher than a Durango—and for much less cash. My city budgets $58,000 per police automotive and is shopping for 4 this yr. A Ford Escape ST-Line Choose prices $36,535. Determine $5000 for lights and graphics, and the city might save virtually $66,000 on these 4 autos. Divvied up, that is about $2000 per cop on the payroll, and the taxpayers would gasoline automobiles that get 26 mpg as a substitute of a Tahoe’s 17 mpg or an Explorer’s 20 mpg. As for velocity, the Escape with the 250-hp 2.0-liter engine can hit 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. Requested what the Escape’s ungoverned prime velocity is perhaps, our tech workforce stated, “About 150 mph, probably 155.” Possibly you would not wish to arrange a roadblock with an Escape, however I would not wish to stare down an oncoming F-250 from behind the wheel of a Durango both.

So, clearly, I’m a genius, and everyone ought to love this plan, however I’ve to confess that the gasoline financial savings aren’t as dramatic as I might hoped. Gaining even 10 mpg would not make a lot distinction in a municipal finances. However how about shopping for no gasoline in any respect? Now we’re speaking! Would police ever embrace electrical patrol automobiles, although? To find out, I had one other native cop drive an EV. And, to stack the deck in my favor, it was a 576-hp Kia EV6 GT.

This explicit officer has a deep automotive background, together with karting, and he owns a Camaro SS. He’d by no means pushed an EV. His first response: “That is unbelievably clean and quiet.” When you’re in a automotive for hours on daily basis, an EV affords a extra serene work atmosphere. On the taxpayer-savings aspect, there aren’t any oil modifications or engine air filters, and brakes ought to final significantly longer because of regen. For our native division, a median day means driving 100 miles, so vary and cost instances seemingly aren’t a problem.

Oh, and for velocity? He pulls to a cease and presses the GT button on the Kia’s steering wheel; we’re doing 60 mph virtually earlier than both of us may even comment on how rapidly that occurred. Heavy and strong, highly effective, nice to drive all day—it seems EVs make inherently good police automobiles.

So by no means thoughts the Escape. Ford has unveiled the F-150 Lightning Professional SSV, the trendy Crown Vic Police Interceptor. Lightnings are massive, fast, and cozy. And, most essential for the remainder of us, they’ve actually distinctive headlights.

Headshot of Ezra Dyer

Senior Editor

Ezra Dyer is a Automobile and Driver senior editor and columnist. He is now primarily based in North Carolina however nonetheless remembers the way to flip proper. He owns a 2009 GEM e4 and as soon as drove 206 mph. These info are mutually unique.


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