The 2012 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor will use 35 percent less fuel than the Crown Victoria, while the Explorer-based 2013 Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicle will use 32 percent less than its competitors, Ford said on Friday.
The city and highway ratings of the 3.5-liter Taurus are 18 mpg and 26 mpg, which betters the Crown Victoria by 25 percent. The additional 10 percent in Ford's estimate is said to come from the Taurus Interceptor's improved idling habits.
A recent study of police-car use in Canada showed that the average police vehicle idles for more than six hours in a 10-hour shift. According to Police Fleet Magazine, the typical police car uses about a half-gallon of fuel for each hour it idles.
"Our latest fuel-efficient V6 engines deliver on our promise for increased performance and improved economy, while providing government agencies with a money-saving solution," said Bill Gubing, chief engineer of the Ford Police Program.
Another part of the frugality equation for the Taurus is the electric power-steering system. As opposed to a hydraulic system, the electric unit uses power only when the wheel is turned.
Ford also eked out a few mpgs by optimizing the energy consumption of the air-conditioning compressor and the alternator.
While the 2013 Ford Taurus Interceptor might be an improvement over the old police vehicle of choice, it will have some stiff competition from Chrysler and General Motors.
Dodge now offers the Dodge Charger Pursuit with the Pentastar V6 engine. It returns 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. GM has the Chevrolet Caprice with a V6, though fuel-economy numbers haven't been made available yet.