Ford is a dominant force in law enforcement, selling 43,000 police vehicles – or about 60 percent of the market – last year alone. “We are the leader in the police segment,” says Michele Bartlett, Ford’s manager of commercial and government fleet sales. Now the automaker hopes to expand its presence even further with the introduction of the 2018 F-150 Police Responder, the first pursuit-rated pickup truck.
Based on the Ford F-150 FX4 off-road package, and sold only as a SuperCrew with a 5.5-foot bed, the Police Responder packs a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine good for 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Along with a ten-speed automatic transmission, that’s enough to get the truck to a top speed of 100 miles per hour. If you’re thinking, “My car can easily exceed 100 mph,” allow us to remind you of the old saying: You can’t outrun a Motorola.
Other mechanical changes for the truck focus on durability for long, high-speed pursuits; that’s the difference between the existing F-150 Special Service Vehicle and this Police Responder. For instance, there are cooling-system changes, larger brake calipers with higher-performance brake pads, underbody skid plates, tough 18-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires, a thicker front anti-roll bar, and a 240-amp alternator.
“We know that our friends in law enforcement rely on these vehicles as mobile offices,” says Bartlett, so engineers made sure there was plenty of space inside the F-150, too. A column shifter is standard to create more space for laptops and other communications gear, and there is no center seat to further improve room. The seats are wrapped in heavy-duty cloth, have smaller bolstering to accommodate bulky utility belts, and have integrated steel plates to prevent stabbings from rear-seat passengers. Those rear seats, as well as the flooring, are vinyl, enabling with Ford calls, “easy cleanup.”
Being a pickup truck, the Police Responder will also be able to tow 7,000 pounds. The company says that many fleet customers were asking for a tougher, pursuit-rated truck, specifically rural sheriff’s departments and border-patrol agencies.
Ford’s engineers work with a special team of 26 law-enforcement consultants from the U.S. and Canada to help develop the company’s police vehicles. The company sells three other pursuit-rated vehicles: The Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility, the Taurus-based Police Interceptor Sedan, and the Fusion-based Police Responder Hybrid Sedan. Ford also offers Special Service Vehicle models of the Expedition, F-150, and Taurus, as well as a Transit-based Prisoner Transit Vehicle.
The truck will be put through the rigorous Michigan State Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department police-vehicle tests this fall and will be available to fleet buyers in spring 2018.
Gallery: 2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder
Ford Reveals Industry’s First Police Pursuit-Rated Pickup Truck – the F-150 Police Responder
- Purpose-built for the demands of law enforcement, the first pursuit-rated pickup – the 2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder – joins the industry’s broadest lineup of law enforcement vehicles this fall
- All-new F-150 Police Responder is ready for action with a specially designed interior; performance features include police-calibrated brake system, all-terrain tires and 18-inch alloy rims, plus the largest passenger volume of any pursuit-rated vehicle
- Performance-rated for speeds up to 100 mph, F-150 Police Responder is engineered for high-performance capability and durability for both on-road and off-road situations – it’s ideal for rural environments patrolled by sheriff’s departments, border patrol operations and fish and game authorities
DEARBORN, Mich., July 20, 2017 – Ford is revealing the industry’s first pursuit-rated pickup, the 2018 F-150 Police Responder, giving law enforcement agencies a more versatile and capable patrol vehicle.
Capable of speeds up to 100 mph, the all-new F-150 Police Responder features a powerful and efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine and Ford SelectShift® 10-speed transmission, plus four- wheel drive for all-terrain police performance. The truck offers 375 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque – more than any other pursuit-rated police vehicle.
Based on the F-150 FX4 off-road model, the Police Responder’s 145-inch wheelbase sits on a high-strength steel frame, and features Ford’s high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy SuperCrew body – giving it the largest passenger volume, payload and towing capacity of any pursuit-rated police vehicle. The truck features best-in-class front and rear shoulder and hip room, as well as rear legroom.
“Ford’s 2018 F-150 Police Responder is the perfect all-terrain law enforcement vehicle,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford’s police brand marketing manager. “Aside from its industry-first on-road pursuit capability, this purpose-built pickup can comfortably seat five, while providing capability in off-road patrol situations for officers in rural environments patrolled by sheriff’s departments, border patrol operations and the Department of Natural Resources.”
Additional F-150 Police Responder performance enhancements include a police-calibrated brake system with upgraded calipers and pad friction material, upgraded front-stabilizer bar for improved braking and handling and 18-inch alloy wheels with all-terrain tires. An upfit-ready interior features a column shifter with center-seat delete, heavy-duty cloth front seats with slim bolsters and anti-stab plates, vinyl rear seating and heavy-duty vinyl flooring for easy cleanup.
A high-output 240-amp alternator is included to support on-board electrical devices, along with a police-calibrated speedometer, and engine hour and engine idle hour meters. Underbody skid plates protect the truck from curbs and rough terrain. A standard class IV hitch gives F-150 Police Responder best-in-class towing capability of 7,000 pounds.
F-150 Police Responder joins the broadest lineup of law enforcement vehicles in the industry. From its Police Responder Hybrid Sedan – the first pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicle – and market-leading Police Interceptor Sedan and Utility, to the Special Service F-150 and Expedition, Special Service Police Sedan and Transit Prisoner Transport Vehicle, Ford offers the right vehicles for a variety of law enforcement needs.