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Ford Reveals Fastest Police Vehicle In America

Ford Reveals Fastest Police Vehicle In America

You don’t want to see this police cruiser in your rear-view mirrors

Ford has released the Police Interceptor Utility, considered by the Michigan State Police as the fastest police car available for 2019. The new Interceptor is based on the yet-to-be-unveiled Explorer SUV. It replaces the outgoing Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility model and the Taurus-based Police Interceptor sedan. The new Police Interceptor Utility is more than just a fast law enforcement vehicle; it’s also loaded with state-of-the-art technology the likes of which the production version of the new Explorer won’t have. That comes with the territory of being a cop car.

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Want to Drive a Ford Ranger or Toyota Hilux? Better Talk to Uncle Sam

Want to Drive a Ford Ranger or Toyota Hilux? Better Talk to Uncle Sam

U.S. Military wants pickups and SUVs that blend into wartime locations

The global Ford Ranger, along with the Toyota Hilux and Land Cruiser 76 and 79 models aren’t available in the U.S. thanks to safety and emissions regulations. However, the U.S. Military has secured a contract with an Ohio-based company to upfit 396 of the trucks and SUVs with armor and communication equipment for duty in regions where the vehicles are commonly found.

It’s the perfect form of camouflage, actually. The enemy is far less likely to spot a Land Cruiser than a Humvee or MRAP.

The contract is between the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida and the Battelle Memorial Institute of Columbus, Ohio. The five-year contract is worth $170 million for as many as 556 vehicles. According to Military Aerospace, 396 of the vehicles will be armored with the remaining 160 vehicles retaining their OEM looks.

Battelle will add various levels of crew protection like armor, along with stronger suspension and braking systems, frame and body reinforcements, and run-flat tires on special wheels that can withstand small arms fire. Infrared lighting for blackout mode will be included, along with C4ISR equipment, otherwise known as command, control, communications, computer, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance equipment. These upfitted vehicles will mostly consist of the Land Cruiser.

It will be a while before these vehicles see combat, however. Battelle will need time for developing the specialized add-ons for these specific vehicles. The prototypes then have to pass the military’s grueling evaluation process and qualification testing. At that time, the government may issue delivery orders for production. Yep, none of this is set in concrete. Battelle expects to have the contract finished by 2023.

Continue reading for more information.

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2013 Ford Focus ST Police Patrol Vehicle

2013 Ford Focus ST Police Patrol Vehicle

The Ford Focus ST has quickly become one of our favorite hot hatchbacks on the market today, as the U.S.-spec model pumps out a monstrous 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, and gets this hatchback to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds. The UK-spec Focus ST is slightly detuned – wow, we actually got the upper hand in performance for once – as it has 250 PS (246 horsepower) and 360 Nm (265 pound-feet) of torque, which gets it to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds and gives it a 154 mph top speed.

Apparently, the UK thinks so highly of Ford’s newest version of the Focus that it has been approved by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) for use by UK police officers. While Ford does not go into many specifics about what’s under the hood, we assume by the lack of information that this Police Patrol Vehicle pumps out the same 250 PS and 360 Nm of torque, which will give it a huge upper hand on most of the cars roaming the streets of the UK.

Inside, the Ford Focus ST PPV is a mobile data terminal, which allows the police to activate the various functions of the car and likely acts as the in-car computer system for checking up on bad guys. Atop the Focus’s compact body sits the obligatory blue-and-white light bar boasting long-lasting LED technology. The body of the demonstrator car that Ford is dragging around the UK is draped in white with your typical police livery.

Local police forces can pick up the Focus ST PPV for £21,995 ($35,156 at the current exchange rates) in hatchback form or for £23,095 ($36,915) for the estate (wagon) model.

Click past the jump to read Ford’s press release.

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Report: Ford Pulling out of the Outback Market

Report: Ford Pulling out of the Outback Market

As the global recession rolls around the Earth, automakers everywhere are starting to hit their breaking points. There have already been talks of Ford and Chevy pulling out of Europe and recently, Ford announced that it was cutting 15 percent of job in Australia due to poor sales.

On the heels of that announcement comes a report from International Business Times that claims Ford is simply ramping up to end its Australia-based manufacturing altogether. The consensus is that Ford of Australia will cease production in the Outback by 2016.

Now, the Ford pull-out from Australia, much like the potential pull-out from Europe, does not mean there won’t be any Fords sold there. This simply means that the Australia-built fords, like the Territory and the fairly bad-ass Falcon sedan, will no longer exist. In their place will likely be imported Fusions and Explorers, maybe bearing different names.

Slow sales are not the only cause to Australia’s No. 3 automaker pulling out, the enactment of tough-to-meet Euro 5 emission standards are likely the straw that broke Ford’s back. Both the Falcon and Territory cannot meet these stringent regulations without expensive revisions to the driveline.

Ford has yet to make any announcement regarding its Outback exit, but it looks to be a certainty. We’ll update you if Ford finally announces this exit.

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Ford Paying Dealers $300 Spiff for Escape Recall

Ford Paying Dealers $300 Spiff for Escape Recall

In the past, Ford has had some serious issues with its cars and fire. Two that stick firmly in our minds are the Pinto, which Ford famously weighed out the cost of recall vs. the cost of paying wrongful death suits, and the spontaneous combustion of the second generation Taurus. So when we learned that the newly redesigned Escape had a potential fire issue, we expected swift and proactive action from Ford.

We certainly got that, but we never expected it to be to the extent that it has become. Reports have emerged that Ford is actually paying dealerships a $300 spiff to repair each and every recalled Escape, which is about 11,500 vehicles. Even our basic mathematical skills can sort out that we are talking about $3,450,000 worth of spiff payments, which does not include the cost to repair the issue.

We are curious to find out if the dealers are passing this spiff onto the service writers and technicians that are repairing the vehicles or hoarding this payment for themselves. We are willing to bet that it is the latter, as the technicians and service writers make commission off of the recall repairs and dealers rarely share spiffs any more.

In addition to this extra bonus, Ford is also recommending that dealerships wash and vacuum the SUV, and fill the gas tank. Talk about going over the top...

It is rather obvious that Ford wants this issue gone and it wants it gone as quickly and effectively as possible. Hats off to Ford for taking this sort of approach with this extremely dangerous recall.

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Battle Over Carroll Shelby's Remains is Settled, Finally

Battle Over Carroll Shelby’s Remains is Settled, Finally

After we lost racing and general automotive legend, Carroll Shelby on May 10th, a squabble ensued over his remains. His estranged wife, Cleo, claimed that she had the rights to his remains and the documentation that his children had, which requested that he be cremated and his ashes split between his children and his burial plot in Texas, was forged.

According to reports, Shelby had filed for an annulment of the marriage, citing that his wife had lied about her background and even her name, just before he died. Unfortunately, the annulment was not awarded posthumously, so it appeared as if the only other way to settle the dispute was in court.

Fortunately, the two sides managed to keep the case out of court by coming to an agreement on Monday and Mr. Shelby’s body will be laid to rest in the way that he requested, except for one minor compromise. The minor compromise is the fact that his estranged wife gets part of his ashes.

We’re glad to hear that the issue is settled, though we would have preferred to see his wife completely cut out of it. The most important thing, however, is that the issue is done and this legend can now be laid to rest peacefully and his children can hold their heads high that their father was laid to rest in the way he requested, though his son Michael says that they are still not happy with the results.

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California Highway Patrol Chooses Explorer as Crown Vic Replacement

California Highway Patrol Chooses Explorer as Crown Vic Replacement

Most of us have all heard the saying that it is not so hard to outrun a cop car, but it’s impossible to outrun their radios. It looks as if the California Highway Patrol is taking that to heart, as it chose the Ford Explorer over the Taurus and Charger Pursuit Car as the replacement for the outgoing Crown Victoria police cruiser. According to the CHP’s representatives, the reasoning for choosing an SUV over the uni-body vehicles is payload capacity, as the CHP can hauls up to 1,700 lbs of people and gear in its vehicles at any given time.

The only two other vehicles that gave the Explorer any competition were the Chevy Tahoe Police Package and Dodge Durango Special Services. The Durango never got a chance, as it was too late for it to receive a pursuit rating in time and Chrysler never submitted a bid. There is no indication on how the testing panned out between the Explorer and Tahoe, but the CHP chose the Explorer based on a lower bid, so chances are that the Tahoe outperformed the Explorer, but was simply too expensive.

Now, don’t start thinking that this is any old Explorer that you can run down to a local Ford dealership and pick up. Ford removed the standard 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 and dropped in the 3.7-liter V-6 borrowed from the F-150 that produces 302 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. The standard 3.5-liter engine gets the Explorer to 60 mph in an acceptable 8.3 seconds, so we would figure the extra 12 ponies and 23 pound-feet should cut that down to about 8 seconds.

Yeah, the Explorer PPV is no speed demon, but as we said before, it is much harder to outrun a radio signal than it is a cop car. So this choice was more of a combination of cost and utility than pure speed. Besides, most highway patrols have special pursuit vehicles just for those pesky high-speed pursuits when patrol cars and radios just aren’t enough.

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In the Army Now: Ford Set to Power New Military Vehicles

In the Army Now: Ford Set to Power New Military Vehicles

BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, and Meritor Defense have been working on a military project dubbed the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program in an attempt to manufacture a lightweight vehicle that the U.S. armed forces can use anywhere in the world. This project had yet to be officially proposed, as its equipment was still in the developmental phase, but as of today, testing is over and the proposal is to be submitted.

You may be wondering “what does this have to do with production cars?” The driving force of this new military device, which is ultimately the replacement for the Humvee, is shared with one of the best-selling pickups of all time, the Ford F-Series SuperDuty. Yup, this large-caliber-gun-toting machine will come fitted with Ford’s now famous 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine.

The exact specifics of the engine have not been released, so we are not certain if this will be the same 6.7-liter you would see under the hood of a 2012 F-250 SuperDuty. Unfortunately, that will likely never be known, but we do know that the Power Stroke engine is up to the task, pumping out an impressive 400 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 800 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 rpm.

This will likely end up similar to the Allison military transmissions vs. civilian models deal. The Power Stroke’s basic technology will remain the same, but the engine will be highly modified for combat usage. If the military accepts this design as one of the three it will select, this could mean that the Power Stroke could see much advancement in upcoming years, as the military tinkers with the engine and Ford mimics the modifications. This also means that we are in for a slew of “Ford’s so good, we power military vehicles” styles of commercials, oh boy.

On a semi-ironic aside to this announcement, Ford was once a part of the JLTV program, but dropped out earlier. We guess there are no hard feelings between Ford and BAE.

Hit the jump for the official press release.

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New Regulations Aim To Put A Stop To All Cell Phone Use While Driving

New Regulations Aim To Put A Stop To All Cell Phone Use While Driving

California, a state that once tried to ban Happy Meals from McDonalds, has decided to take on distracted drivers. The state has proposed a regulation that would ban drivers from all types of cell phone use.

"GHSA supports a total ban of cell phone use (hands free and hand held) and text messaging for all drivers," the resolution obtained by The Detroit News says.

"GHSA also supports a ban on electronic devices used for entertainment purposes with video screens that are within view of the driver and a ban for school bus drivers on text messaging or using electronic devices except in emergencies."

If you read that correctly, it basically means that if you own a new Ford and live the Golden State, then the wonderful Sync system could put you in jeopardy. We all know that states have been cracking down on cell phone use, but hands free systems never seemed to be an issue. Needless to say, the automakers are a bit unhappy.

"We support state laws that ban texting or calling while driving if a driver’s using a hand-held device. But we realize people are going to have conversations, read maps and directions, and listen to music while they drive. Automakers have worked to make sure this can be done while still maintaining focus on the road," spokesman Wade Newton said to the Detroit News.

If this law does pass, it should be interesting to see how systems like Sync and OnStar will adapt.

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Ford calls for active partnership with Government

Ford calls for active partnership with Government

In a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce today, Ford Motor Company Executive Vice President and President of the Americas Mark Fields addressed the ways the automaker has aggressively restructured the company and its culture, and outlined policy areas such as trade, currency, energy, health care and investment in research and development that call for partnerships between industry and government.
"What are we asking from our partners in government and industry? We are not asking (...)

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Ford`s Legal Department is the best according to Corporate Counsel Magazine

Ford`s Legal Department is the best according to Corporate Counsel Magazine

Ford Motor Company attorneys were named "Best Legal Department" for 2006 by Corporate Counsel magazine. The legal group was recognized for its all-around strength, including the innovative intellectual property group, which markets and protects Ford patents; the transactions group, highlighting its significant role in the recent sale of The Hertz Corporation (the second-largest leveraged buyout in history); and the appellate group, which helps shape law. Corporate Counsel also (...)

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