First-ever pursuit-rated police pickup

Ford is broadening its already-wide lineup of Special Service Vehicles with a pursuit-rated version of the F-150 pickup. It’s called the F-150 Police Responder, and this F-150 comes standard with the SuperCrew cab and 5.5-foot bed, powered by the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 that’s backed by Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission and two-speed transfer case. The F-150 Police Responder is designed for both street- and off-road patrolling duty, making it attractive to agencies in rural environments and Federal outfits like the Border Patrol and Department of Natural Resources.

Specialized equipment exclusive to the F-150 Police Responder includes a police-calibrated speedometer, an engine hour and idle-hour meters, a 240-amp alternator for powering onboard police equipment, and “police-calibrated” brakes with upgraded calipers and pads. (Elwood Blues would be proud.) The cabin also boasts improvements, too. The front bucket seats are wrapped in heavy-duty cloth with thin bolsters designed to better accommodate bulky duty belts. Anti-stab plates are fitted within the seats, protecting against knife attacks from behind. Also, the center seat is deleted, leaving the area open for adding aftermarket police consoles. Suspects and perps are relegated to a vinyl bench seat and the entire cab floor is lined with the black vinyl common in base-model trucks – both designed for easy clean-up. Lastly, the Police Responder comes standard with the FX4 package, meaning it has underbody skid plates, upgraded shocks, and all-terrain tires mounted on 18-inch alloy wheels. As equipped, the F-150 Police Responder can tow 7,000 pounds on its Class IV receiver hitch. Expect to see Ford’s latest police vehicle in your rearview mirror by the beginning of 2018.

Continue reading for more on the Ford F-150 Police Responder.

  • 2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Transmission:
    10-Speed Auto
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    375
  • Torque @ RPM:
    470
  • Energy:
    Twin Turbo
  • Displacement:
    3.5 L
  • Top Speed:
    100 mph
  • Price:
    40000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

The First Pursuit-Rated Pickup

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder Exterior High Resolution
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Ford’s claim that the 2018 F-150 Police Responder is “pursuit-rated” isn’t actually Ford’s claim at all. Rather, the term is an official rating given to vehicle that pass a barrage of on-road maneuvering tests by the Michigan State Police and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. These two agencies have been testing cop cars for decades, dating back to the days of carbureted V-8s and wide-body cars.

The pursuit-rated designation boils down to this: the vehicle is capable of handling a high-speed chase, including heavy braking, maneuvering, and stability without fail. As for the 2018 F-150 Police Responder, it passed the agencies’ tests – even despite having an electronically limited top speed of 100 mph. Hopefully F-150-equipped officers aren’t trying to apprehend anything faster than a Nissan Leaf. You can read the ultra-detailed, 116-page report from the Michigan State Police’s evaluation of 2017 pursuit vehicles here.

Obviously, the 2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder isn’t designed for top-end pursuits down open freeway, but it is amazingly capable of handling other tasks needed by police departments and government agencies. According to Stephen Tyler, Ford’s police brand marketing manager, “Ford’s 2018 F-150 Police Responder is the perfect all-terrain law enforcement vehicle. 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.”

Exterior

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder Exterior High Resolution
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2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder Exterior High Resolution
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The Ford F-150 has undergone a mid-cycle refresh for 2018, bringing a revised front grille, bumper, and headlights, along with a new tailgate and wheel choices. Not much else changes, but the F-150 remains a fresh pickup since it only debuted for the 2015 model year. For the Police Responder package, the F-150 comes stock without any modifications to the exterior. In fact, it would be hard to distinguish a Police Responder from any other 2018 F-150.

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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However, Ford will install a number of accessories needed by police departments and government agencies. Examples include a front push-bumper, warning lights, sirens, spot lights, graphics packages, and cargo bed accessories like the tonneau cover seen here.

Interior

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder Interior High Resolution
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The 2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder is based on the F-150 XL, meaning it comes with the basic AM/FM radio, vinyl flooring, and a column-mounted gearshifter. But rather than stopping there, the Police Responder package changes quite a bit. Up front, the bench seat is swapped for cloth-covered buckets, making room for a police-spec center console that holds radios and other equipment. The back seat is vinyl, making clean-up much easier after hauling some dirty perp.

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder Interior High Resolution
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Of course, Ford allows for options, too, meaning agencies can upgrade the radio, get Ford Telematics and SYNC onboard, have cruise control, and get the power-sliding rear window. Ford also has a huge catalog of extras for its Special Service Vehicles, like suspect cages, K9 kennels, laptop and radar speed gun mounts, and lockable firearm racks.

Drivetrain

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder Exterior High Resolution
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While the standard F-150 Special Service Vehicle can be had with either the 5.0-liter V-8 or the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, the 2018 F-150 Police Responder comes only with the EcoBoost. This is the same 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 found in the civilian 2018 F-150. The V-6 was heavily updated for 2017, adding two new turbochargers, both direct- and port-fuel injection, and an entirely new valvetrain. The result is 10 more horsepower and 50 more pound-feet of torque over the first-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. That brings the power totals to 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.

Ford does update one aspect of the EcoBoost for police duty: the alternator. The standard power generator is swapped for a 240-volt unit to meet the tougher energy demands found on police vehicles. The extra warning and spot lights, sirens, and onboard laptops all consume tons of power. Ford also includes an idle hour meter and engine run-time meter in the gauge driver information screen in the gauge cluster.

Backing the new EcoBoost is Ford’s equally new, 10-speed automatic transmission. Co-developed alongside General Motors, this new gearbox premiered in halo vehicles like the 2017 F-150 Raptor and 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Now, the transmission is spreading to both GM and Ford’s trucks and SUVs, including most of the 2018 F-150 lineup. And while the transmission’s hardware is shared, Ford and GM are both responsible for developing their own software.

Adding to the F-150 Police Responder’s versatility is its standard 4WD system. It’s the same part-time, two-speed system found on other F-150s, so it includes both 4WD High and 4WD Low ranges, along with the standard RWD setting for on-road driving and the electronic locking rear differential for added off-road traction. Sadly, The F-150 Police Responder is electronically limited to 100 mph. This means the truck won’t likely see much duty with states’ highway patrol as an interceptor. However, the truck’s all-around capability in both on- and off-road situations should make it a favorite for other areas of duty.

Pricing

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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Ford has not announced prices for the 2018 F-150 Police Responder. However, building a 2017 F-150 XL with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, 4WD, and 10-speed automatic combined with the SuperCrew and 5.5-foot bed, the base price hovers around $40,000. Ford will begin selling the 2018 F-150 Police Responder in the Spring of 2018 through its commercial vehicles division.

References

2018 Ford F-150 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Read our full review of the 2018 Ford F150

Competition

Ram 1500 Special Service Vehicle

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Like Ford, Ram offers a SSV version of its Ram 1500 pickup. This truck comes standard in Crew Cab, short bed form and powered by the venerable 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 backed by the basic six-speed automatic and part-time 4WD. The truck uses vinyl flooring and a vinyl rear bench for easy cleanup, while the front buckets are stain-resistant cloth with a cop-spec center console splitting the middle.

The Hemi V-8 is upgraded with long-life, 100,000-mile spark plugs, a 220-amp alternator, and a high-capacity oil cooler. Beyond that, the V-8 still makes 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque.

Of course, pricing varies with options factory-installed cop gear, but the Ram 1500 SSV starts at $39,975.

Read our full review on the Ram 1500 Special Service Vehicle.

Chevrolet Silverado SSV

2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab SSV High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab SSV High Resolution Exterior
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Chevy’s entry into the police and special service category is the Silverado 1500 SSV. The truck comes in the ever-popular Crew Cab, short-bed form like the Ford and Ram. The truck comes standard in 2WD with 4WD offered as optional, however, helping keep initial costs down. Chevy actually offers two trim levels, too, with the first being the 1WT and the optional extra being the 1LS. Regardless of trim, 2018 models come standard with the 7.0-inch MyLink infotainment system.

Power comes exclusively from the venerable 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8. The all-aluminum, cam-in-block engine makes 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque and is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. Like the others, Chevy bolts on an upgraded alternator for more electrical power, and supplements the cranking power with a larger, 730 cold-cranking amp battery. An auxiliary transmission cooler is added, too. And since both the Silverado and Tahoe in the SSV trim, Chevy offers a “common fleet key” option where all a department’s Chevy vehicles use the same key.

Prices for the civilian 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab, short-bed in RWD and the 5.3-liter V-8 and WT trim start at $37,530. Figure pricing for the SSV version remains somewhat close to that starting point. Options, of course, add cost.

Read our full review on the Chevrolet Silverado SSV.

Conclusion

2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
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Ford has upped the ante with the 2018 F-150 Police Responder. This SSV package combines the utility of Ford’s standard F-150 SSV pickup with the added advantage of being pursuit-rated. Though its top speed isn’t impressive, the F-150 has plenty of power to for less-than-triple-digit speeds. Its standard-issue, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 makes the F-150 the most powerful pursuit-rated police vehicle currently on the market. Add to that Ford’s vast array of in-house options and extra features for police agencies, and the F-150 Police Responder makes a solid case for itself.

What do you think of Ford’s new pursuit-rated pickup? Let us know in the comments below.

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    • * Limited to 100 mph
    • * Only one Cab/Bed size offered
    • * Another vehicle for speeders to watch for
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