For the time being, the Ford Explorer is the fastest police vehicle available.

Welcome to the United States, where the 301-horsepower V-6 Toyota Camry thrives and a 470-horsepower Jeep Wrangler on 35-inch mud-terrain tires can reach 60 mph faster than a Ford Mustang Mach 1 with the same amount of power. It's all screaming bald eagles until one gets stolen, raced, and weaved between cars like a drunken three-ton bowling ball in the middle of the street. When their crime spree comes to a grinding halt, someone has to meet ol' Breaky McLawLaw. Sure, helicopters are fast, but someone has to meet Breaky himself. So, what is the most appropriate vehicle for the job?

Despite the fact that the law enforcement profession encompasses much more than just high-speed emergency response, many departments require their vehicles to meet a set of specifications known as a "purchasing spec." Vehicles must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for patrol duty, but they must also be capable of providing adequate performance when responding to more dangerous situations.

After conducting police vehicle testing at Grattan Raceway in southwestern Michigan, the Michigan State Police (MSP) has released their preliminary findings. During a series of track tests, MSP troopers put four motorcycles and 11 vehicles through their paces. They measured acceleration, top speed, distance to top speed, braking, and lap times in order to make performance comparisons that will aid municipal, county, and state police departments in all 50 states in determining which vehicle best meets their needs.

Ford Police Interceptor Utility (FPIU) with a 400-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, available in all-wheel drive, continues to be the fastest police vehicle available today, reaching 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and 100 miles per hour in 13.5 seconds during Motor Vehicle Safety Program testing. It traveled 1.6 miles to reach its top speed of 148 mph (which was also the fastest of the vehicles tested). Despite the fact that it is not as fast as the Wrangler 392, the Explorer's 36-mph disadvantage in top speed would allow it to catch up with it. The EcoBoost FPIU was also 0.7 second faster to 60 mph and 0.6 second faster to 100 mph than the 380-horsepower Dodge Charger Pursuit rear-wheel-drive V-8 sedan in the same tests.

The rear-drive V-8 Charger Pursuit reached its top speed of 139 mph in less than a mile, which was the fastest time achieved by any vehicle tested so far this year. Despite the fact that it was not mentioned in this year's preliminary results, last year's Charger Pursuit also had the best turning radius, which is often a critical first step in responding to an emergency situation.

The Metropolitan Police Department also obtained a Ford Mach-E police prototype vehicle. According to the Metropolitan Police Department, this police version has all-wheel drive and 480 horsepower, making it essentially a Ford Mach-E GT with red and blue lights. It hit 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and 100 mph in 11.9 seconds, according to the manufacturer. Despite Ford's claims that the street-legal version will accelerate to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, it's safe to assume that the police-ready version's slower acceleration is due to the additional equipment. When it reached its top speed of 124 mph, it took more than two miles to get there. 5.1 seconds was the time it took for the Mach-E 4 to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in our test vehicle, which had 346 horsepower and all-wheel drive.

MSP informed us that the battery of the Mach-E GT had dropped by 30% after 18 miles of laps, which they considered to be a promising start for electric vehicles. However, today's infrastructure still requires an increase in the number of chargers and the length of time it takes for EVs to completely replace patrol duty. The MSP also informed us that many of their new Ford Explorer FPIUs are the 318-horsepower hybrid models, which have the best estimated city fuel economy of any of the police vehicles tested this year, achieving 24 miles per gallon.

It took the Ford F-150 Police Responder pickup just 5.8 seconds to reach 60 mph and 14.3 seconds to reach 100 mph. Though still slower than the quickest pickups we've tested, including the last-generation F-150 with its high-output 450-horsepower twin-turbo V-6, it is worth noting that the trucks we test do not have push bars in the front. The F-150 Responder, in contrast to the Explorer FPIU, is powered by a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 that produces 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. It covered the half-mile to its top speed of 120 mph in just over a minute. A significant improvement over the 370-hp Ford F-150 Police Responder introduced last year, which had a lower top speed of 105 miles per hour and took only 6.6 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour.

According to the MSP, more fully electric police vehicles are expected to be deployed in the coming year, as more automakers continue to focus their efforts on a battery-powered future. Later this month, a more in-depth look at the MSP's testing data will be made available to the public.

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