Ford has unveiled its F-150 Police Responder, America’s only purpose-built, pursuit-rated pickup truck, and it looks a bit mean.
Part of America’s best-selling police vehicle lineup, the Ford F-150 Police Responder features increased capability, including an improved 120 mph top speed, automatic four-wheel-drive mode with torque-on-demand transfer case to help patrolling officers transition from busy urban streets to dusty country roads, and wireless software updates.
Introduced in 2017 as a unique all-terrain law enforcement tool, F-150 Police Responder is built on the 2021 F-150 SuperCrew platform and engineered to meet a wide range of agency needs – from allowing officers to travel with more emergency response gear to transporting mobile command centres. The truck continues to deliver greater towing capacity, payload capacity and interior passenger volume than any other pursuit-rated police vehicle, and for 2021 adds even more capability.
“Law enforcement agencies told us they would love to add F-150 Police Responder towing, hauling and off-road performance to their fleets, but they need more confidence in speed and handling,” said Greg Ebel, Ford police vehicle brand manager. “Whether suburban police departments, border patrol agents or rural sheriffs, officers never know where the job might take them, but the all-new F-150 Police Responder provides a pickup truck option engineered to get them there faster and with greater agility than ever before.”
F-150 Police Responder: Improved Performance On- or Off-Road
The F-150 Police Responder pickup’s standard 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine produces 405 horsepower, and its 678Nm of torque tops all pursuit-rated police vehicles. The engine is paired with a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission uniquely calibrated to meet law enforcement use while enabling speeds significantly higher than a stock F-150.
To help reach – and withstand – those high speeds, the vehicle rides on specially developed Goodyear LT265/70R18 LRC BSW Wrangler Enforcer all-terrain tyres. As the only all-terrain tyres available on a pursuit-rated police vehicle, they’re uniquely designed to handle fast acceleration, high speeds and aggressive cornering on paved roads, and can endure the heat generated in pursuits without sacrificing the off-road capability Police Responder drivers have come to expect.
A new torque-on-demand transfer case includes 4-Auto mode, with an electrically actuated clutch that automatically adjusts torque as needed to provide exceptional ‘set it and forget it’ capability for seamless terrain transition. On high-friction surfaces such as dry pavement, the system runs in two-wheel drive for maximum performance and improved handling around corners. If a pursuit shifts to slick or loose surfaces, the 4-Auto system simultaneously directs power to all four wheels, allowing officers to remain focused on the job at hand.
“4-Auto mode bridges the gap between 2-High and 4-High, and you see performance improvements as a result,” said Allen Magolan, Ford police vehicles integration manager. “On dry pavement is where you see the real payoff, because it allows you to carry more speed when cornering – a rare benefit in a pickup truck.”
The torque-on-demand system couples with the standard F-150 FX4 Off-Road Package to give officers outstanding off-road capability. The FX4 package includes underbody skid plates, off-road-tuned shocks, electronic-locking rear axle and hill descent control to help maintain speed while driving down an incline.
For departments that need to tow a boat, horse trailer, mobile command centre or other equipment, the F-150 Police Responder tops all other pursuit-rated vehicles with a standard towing capacity of 3,175kg (or optional towing capacity of 5,080kg) in addition to its payload capacity of 920kg. An optional Trailer Tow Package adds a 360-degree camera, Trailer Reverse Guidance and integrated Trailer Brake Controller. Smart Trailer Tow Connector is standard on Class IV hitch-equipped vehicles and adds Trailer Coverage to the optional Blind Spot Information System.
F-150 Police Responder: Purpose-Built for Officers, Smart Solutions for Fleets
Optional Police Engine Idle lets an officer remove the key from the ignition and securely exit the truck with the engine running. Officers can continue to power lights and sirens without the worry of vehicle theft. Agencies can choose the type of keys to operate their trucks – up to four traditional fleet keys per truck or up to four optional fobs with keyless entry per truck.
SYNC 4 with cloud connectivity is standard. The system includes an 8.0-inch touch screen in the centre stack and an embedded modem with wireless updates, allowing agencies to receive software updates and potentially avoid unplanned service or maintenance. An upgraded 4.0-inch productivity screen in the instrument cluster is standard.
Like all Ford commercial vehicles, the F-150 Police Responder offers optional Ford Telematics – an intelligent fleet management tool that can help improve uptime, optimize running costs, enable predictive planning of unscheduled maintenance and improve driver behaviour over time. New driver-assist features include a standard Reverse Sensing System, which provides an audible alert if the vehicle approaches an object while backing up. Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection that includes Forward Collision Warning and Automatic Emergency Braking is optionally available, and now comes with a unique one-touch temporary disable switch exclusively for law enforcement. Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert is also available as an option.
Among law enforcement vehicles, the F-150 Police Responder stands out – with more interior passenger volume and more head, hip and shoulder room than any other pursuit-rated offering. Front seat bolsters are sized to make it easier for an officer wearing a duty belt to enter or exit the vehicle, while enhancing comfort throughout an eight-hour shift.
Upfitting is made easy with features such as a front console-delete, universal top tray on the instrument panel and rear power lug. The 40-blank-40 front seat configuration lets agencies install their department-specific centre console. A new factory-installed centre console is available as part of the Interior Upgrade Package, as is a new Interior Work Surface that provides an adjustable flat surface for writing or computer work.
The updated darker-coloured interior, including police-grade heavy-duty cloth front seats, was influenced by officer input. It features built-in steel intrusion plates in both front seatbacks for officer safety, as well as red-and-white task lighting. LED police warning beacons are available pre-installed in red and blue, amber, or amber and white.