Police vehicles have to serve a number of purposes. They need to have enough space to facilitate transporting suspects and all of the gear officers use on a daily basis. They also need to be safe to protect suspects and officers, if an unfortunate accident happens. Just as important, however, is how well they can perform when an officer has to put his foot down and engage in pursuit of a suspect. For reasons like this, Police departments routinely test and compare their different police cruisers against each other.

Recently, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan State Police took the time to do just that. What sounds like a routine police department exercise, actually looks more like a fun day at the track for some of the officers. They have tested 0 to 60 mph times, 0 to 100 mph times, vehicle to speed, and even braking times. It is interesting to see how police cruisers stacked up against one another, and we have the results, but the real question is: How do they compare against other cars on the road?

Some of the police cruisers tested include the Chevy Caprice Interceptor, and the Ford EcoBoost Interceptor Sedan and Utility Interceptors. The L.A.S.D. and the M.S.P. didn’t provide results outside of how the police cruisers performed amongst one another, but here at Topspeed, we’ve taken the time to compare them to some higher-end cars from the same manufacturers. So, now that the results are in, let’s take a look.

Continue reading for more information

Cruiser Vs Cruiser

The most common police cruisers from Chevy, Ford and Dodge were tested against one another, and as it turns out, Ford came out on top. The EcoBoost Police interceptors (Sedan and Utility) not only set records this year, but outperformed the competitors. It should be noted that the results shown below are a result of testing with a “key on and drive” policy, which means the cars were tested exactly as they are used during normal patrols – things like traction control and stability control systems are turned on by default.

0 to 60 MPH 0 to 100 MPH Top Speed
Ford Sedan 3.5-liter FWD 7.83 19.79 132 MPH
Ford Sedan 3.5-liter AWD 7.58 19.15 132 MPH
Ford Sedan 3.7-liter AWD 6.17 14.58 150 MPH
Ford Sedan 2.0-liter FWD 8.58 21.86 121 MPH
Ford Utility 3.7-liter AWD 8.34 21.65 132 MPH
Ford Utility 3.5-liter AWD 6.63 16.66 132 MPH
Dodge Charger 3.6-liter RWD 2.62 final gear 8.04 20.65 141 MPH
Dodge Charger 3.6-liter RWD 3.08 final gear 8.26 21.10 142 MPH
Dodge Charger 5.7-liter RWD 2.62 final gear 6.48 15.55 150 MPH
Dodge Charger 5.7-liter AWD 3.08 final gear 6.27 15.48 150 MPH
Chevy Caprice 3.6-liter RWD 8.27 20.28 146 MPH
Chevy Caprice 6.0-liter RWD 6.26 14.83 155 MPH
Chevy Impala 3.6-liter FWD 7.81 19.45 150 MPH
Chevy Tahoe 5.3-liter RWD 7.94 19.78 137 MPH
Chevy Tahoe 5.3-liter 4WD 8.22 20.70 121 MPH

So, now we know that the fastest cop car to hit 60 MPH and 100 MPH is the 3.7-liter AWD Ford Interceptor Sedan. It’s 150 MPH top speed was matched by the 5.7-liter Chargers and the 3.6-liter, front-wheel drive Impala, but the winner of top speed goes to the 6.0-liter, rear-wheel drive Chevy Caprice at 155 MPH. So, can your daily driver outrun the boys in blue? Depends on what you drive, but it’s not going to be your everyday Dodge Charger, Ford Focus, or Chevy Impala. Let’s take a look and find out.

High Speed Pursuit

So what does it take to outrun your everyday police car? Well first of all, you’ve got to have guts and some serious driving skills – we’ve all seen the TV show Cops and what happens when most people try to get away. Without some serious skill you’re going to end up with your face against the pavement or in jail, if not worse. Of course, it wouldn’t make sense to compare your everyday Caprice, Ford Sedan or Charger, because it’s just a given that you’re not going to win when going against an identical car (minus the police decals, red and blue lights and minor tuning advantages.) Even cars like the 2015 Ford Focus ST with a 5.9-second sprint to 60 and top speed of 155 mph can barely beat out the AWD 3.7-liter Ford Sedan. So the question is, what can overtake these police cruisers? Do you need to have an exotic or a German whip?. Truth is, you don’t need a 3-second Mercedes tuned by AMG – you can probably outrun them in some higher-end American cars, but which ones? Well I’ve taken one model from Ford, Chevy and Dodge to compare against the best police cruiser from each brand

Ford Sedan 3.7-liter AWD Dodge Charger 5.7-liter AWD 3.08 Chevy Caprice 6.0-liter RWD
0 to 60 MPH 6.17 6.27 6.26
Top Speed 150 MPH 150 MPH 155 MPH
2016 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat 2016 Chevy Camaro SS
0 to 60 MPH 3.50 3.7 4.0
Top Speed (est) 190 MPH 204 MPH 185 MPH

Why It Matters

Granted, the list of cars that can actually beat out the cruisers could go on forever. Originally I wanted to list more common cars like the Focus, Impala, even the Volkswagen Passat, as opposed to cars like the GT350R and the Charger Hellcat. But, at the end of the day, your everyday drivers are all way to close or couldn’t compete with the police cars without some serious mods. Now of course, you could argue that you can push a Honda Civic or an Acura up to 150 or 160 MPH and top the speed of the police cruisers, but how long is it going to take you to get there? Long enough that smokey is going to get you. As far as the police go, Ford can have those bragging rights. They are pretty quick with those 6-second 0-60 times and 150-plus top speeds, but if you have a good driver behind something better than your everyday Mustang or Ford the boys are going to have a run for their money.

Ford Police Interceptor Utility

Ford's Pursuit Vehicles Ranked Highest In Police Department Testing
- image 658151

Read our full review of the Ford PIU here

Source: Ford Motor Company

Press Release

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 30, 2015 – New testing protocols adopted by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) last year and Michigan State Police (MSP) this year only underscored the performance dominance of Ford’s best-selling Police Interceptors. In the most recent tests performed by LASD and MSP of 2016 model-year vehicles, both the Ford EcoBoost® Police Interceptor Sedan and the Ford EcoBoost Police Interceptor Utility set records and beat out competitors.

“We are proud to maintain our performance advantages, and these validate Ford Police Interceptor leadership,” said Arie Groeneveld, Ford Police Interceptor chief engineer. “We love the bragging rights, but for these officers, best-in-class performance is a huge safety attribute. Pursuits that end quickly are more likely pursuits that end safely. This team is obsessed with officer safety.”

For the first time ever, both police agencies conducted testing with a “key on and drive” policy, meaning stability and traction control settings were in default mode, as when the vehicles are first turned on and how officers drive these vehicles in the real world. LASD began implementing the test protocol last year.

Ford EcoBoost Police Interceptor Sedan repeated its top performance in MSP and LASD testing of 2016 police vehicles, retaining its title as quickest-accelerating pursuit vehicle, and turned in faster lap times than all competitors.

The EcoBoost-powered Ford Police Interceptor Sedan bested all vehicles, including V8-equipped competitors’ sedans in testing by both Michigan and California authorities, while Ford Police Interceptor Utility with EcoBoost out-accelerated the competition’s newest V8-equipped utility and all base V6-powered sedans.

Interestingly, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost Special Service Police Sedan test results showed the turbo four-cylinder to be quicker to 60 mph than the last Crown Victoria Police Interceptor tested by MSP for the 2011 model year (8.6 vs. 8.9 seconds).

Highlights of Test Results: Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD)

  • Ford EcoBoost Interceptor Sedan repeats as best-in-class acceleration for overall pursuit vehicles (0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds vs. 6.6 seconds for the 5.7-liter Charger and 6.7 seconds for the 6.0-liter Chevrolet Caprice)
  • EcoBoost Interceptor Utility repeats as best-in-class acceleration for utilities and repeats faster than all base V6 cars
  • Ford 2.0-liter Special Service Police Sedan achieves 0-60 and 0-100 times faster than the 2011 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

LASD Fontana/Auto Club Speedway High-Speed Pursuit Tests:

  • Ford 2.0-liter Special Service Police Sedan passes 32-lap Fontana Vehicle Dynamics test, and for the first time will be in the LASD Vehicle Test book as a pursuit-rated vehicle
  • 3.5-liter EcoBoost Interceptor Sedan repeats as best-in-class lap time and fastest average lap speed among all police vehicles tested
  • 3.7-liter all-wheel-drive Interceptor Sedan achieves fastest lap and fastest average lap among base V6 police vehicles
  • EcoBoost Interceptor Utility repeats as best-in-class lap time and fastest lap in utility segment
  • Both the 3.7-liter and 3.5-liter EcoBoost Interceptor Utilities achieve faster average lap time than a competitor’s utility vehicle, having implemented a “Track Detect” automatic stability control mode, which reduces stability control intervention

Highlights of Test Results: Michigan State Police

  • Ford EcoBoost Interceptor Sedan repeats as top acceleration for overall pursuit vehicles
  • EcoBoost Interceptor Utility acceleration repeats as top acceleration for utilities and repeats as faster than all base V6 sedans
  • Ford 2.0-liter Special Service Police Sedan achieves 0-60 and 0-100 times faster than the 2011 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor

Grattan Raceway (Belding, Michigan) Test Highlights:

  • This is the first year all police vehicles were tested with stability control, traction control and engine mode systems full key-on as driven by officers in the real world
  • Electronic stability control on agreement results in a 0.5-2.0-second decrease in competitor vehicle performance
  • EcoBoost Interceptor Sedan is best-in-class lap time
  • EcoBoost Interceptor Sedan achieves fastest lap and fastest average lap
  • EcoBoost Interceptor Utility repeats as best-in-class lap time and fastest average lap speed in utility segment
  • Even the 3.7-liter non-EcoBoost Interceptor Utility achieves faster lap time than a competitor’s V8-powered police utility vehicle
  • 3.7-liter all-wheel-drive Interceptor Sedan achieves fastest lap and fastest average lap time among base V6 police vehicles
  • Ford 2.0-liter Special Service Police Sedan passes 32-lap Grattan Vehicle Dynamics test, and for the first time will be in the MSP Vehicle Test book as a pursuit-rated vehicle
View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: