Ford bets a turbo V-6 will outgun a V-8 among law-enforcement agencies

The twin turbo and awd configuration in the Taurus-based Police Interceptor is Ford's answer to V-8-powered, rwd cop cars, namely the 355-hp 6.0-liter Chevy Caprice and the 370-hp 5.7-liter Dodge Charger. Photo credit: FORD
Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News

Six-cylinder vs. Hemi V-8: How fast is fast?

You might be surprised by the results of a 0-60 mph shootout.

The Michigan State Police this month released results of its annual police car test, which includes Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge vehicles.

The test measures such things as quarter-mile acceleration, stopping distance, ergonomics, fuel economy and 0-60 mph acceleration. The test is performed to help law-enforcement agencies across the country choose their police cars or SUVs.

This year, one vehicle was noticeably absent from the evaluation. The test is the first in decades without the Ford Police Interceptor, the law-enforcement version of the Ford Crown Victoria. The Crown Vic and Ford's V-8 police car engine were discontinued last year.

For decades, the Crown Vic had been the law-enforcement favorite for basically two reasons: rear-wheel drive and V-8 power.

While the Crown Vic has been put out to pasture, the Police Interceptor moniker is now being used on a heavy-duty version of the Ford Taurus. Two law-enforcement models are available, each with a 3.5-liter V-6: a front-wheel-drive model with 280 hp and an all-wheel-drive version with a twin-turbocharged engine that hammers out 365 hp.

The twin turbo and awd configuration is Ford's answer to the competition's V-8-powered, rwd cop cars, namely the 355-hp 6.0-liter Chevrolet Caprice and the 370-hp 5.7-liter Dodge Charger.

The complete Michigan State Police analysis is available here.

But I'll mention just one statistic -- 0-60 mph acceleration. How does a twin-turbo V-6 fare among the V-8s? The answer: quite well.

The V-8-powered Hemi Charger reached 60 mph in 5.83 seconds, according to the Michigan State Police. That was followed by the Caprice, at 5.91 seconds, and the Taurus, at 5.92 seconds.

The twin-turbo Taurus was a mere 0.09 seconds slower than the Hemi Charger.

What does that suggest about the future of the V-8? Simply, it's another nail in its coffin.

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