Ford Police Interceptor Utility Drags Tesla MY and Camaro ZL1, Loses Both Races


Instead of the Fusion, the Ford Motor Company’s entry-level Police Interceptor now comes in the guise of a mid-size utility vehicle. Based on the Explorer, the latest iteration of the Police Interceptor Utility comes standard with a 3.3-liter V6, hybrid assistance, and all-wheel drive. Law enforcement agencies can also specify the 3.0-liter EcoBoost of the civilian-spec Explorer ST, but still, these powertrains leave much to be desired in a quarter-mile brawl against an electric SUV and a proper muscle car. As the headline implies, a Police Interceptor Utility from Jefferson County, Colorado, has been handily whooped by a Model Y and a Camaro ZL1. Fitted with aftermarket wheels and beautified with yellow-painted brake calipers, the dual-motor Tesla Model Y digs much better off the starting line. The zero-emission SUV ran 12.9 seconds at 111.9 miles per hour (180 kilometers per hour) while the PIU crossed the finish line in 15.7 clicks. As for the Camaro ZL1, the second race sees the Chevrolet-branded coupe accelerate like nobody’s business despite a little wheel spin. Due to its fast-shifting automatic transmission and supercharged LT4 small-block V8 engine, the Chevy makes no excuses for its 12.3-second run at 118.1 mph (190 kph) compared to 16.2 seconds at 87.1 mph (140.1 kph) for the PIU. Considering that the Police Interceptor Utility flaunts a gross vehicle weight rating of 6,840 pounds (3,103 kilograms) for the 3.3L HEV powertrain and 6,500 pounds (2,948 kilograms) for the 3.0L EcoBoost, it’s pretty clear that weight is the biggest enemy of the law enforcement vehicle. By comparison, Tesla’s ever-popular Model Y Long Range is listed with a GVWR of 5,302 pounds (2,405 kilograms), whereas the Camaro ZL1 need not apply. In light of the Police Utility Vehicle losing both races, it’s very important to remind ourselves that racing the police on public roads rarely ends in success because helicopter units can outrun even the fastest cars out there.