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2020 Ford Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility gets hybrid version

Joel Stocksdale

Ford is expanding its line of hybrid police vehicles with the 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, or better known as the police version of the Ford Explorer. The company will now offer it with some sort of hybrid powertrain, though Ford was strangely tight-lipped about specific engine specifications. By which we mean the company didn't even state whether the hybrid would have four or six cylinders.

But we do have other information regarding the new hybrid police SUV. Ford estimates that it will get 24 mpg combined in EPA fuel economy testing. The company touts the fact that it's 40 percent more efficient than the naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V6. Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that combined number would make the Police Interceptor Utility the most efficient Explorer on the market, beating the front-wheel-drive turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder's 22 mpg combined rating.

Not surprisingly, Ford wouldn't confirm whether this new powertrain will be offered in consumer Explorers, but the company has previously made it very clear that in the future its utilities, including the Explorer, will have some sort of hybrid offering. As such, it's a safe bet that you'll be able to find a hybrid Explorer on dealer lots in the near future.

Also interesting is that Ford claims this hybrid police car will accelerate faster and have a higher top speed than the aforementioned V6 version. The 3.7-liter V6 makes 304 horsepower and 279 pound-feet of torque. Considering the extra weight of the lithium-on batteries and electric powertrain, we would guess that total output of the hybrid is greater than the 3.7-liter V6's. The hybrid will also come coupled exclusively with all-wheel-drive. Ford further touts an advantage of the hybrid is that there's less idling time, since on-board equipment can be powered by the hybrid batteries. The Police Interceptor Utility will also have a blind-spot system that can detect people walking around the car and automatically lock doors and roll up windows in case of danger.

We're expecting to learn more about this new police SUV, and hopefully about an updated consumer Explorer, in the near future. More information will also likely be accompanied by better photos of the vehicles.

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2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility