Ford Fusion becomes first police pursuit-rated hybrid car

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Ford made a big splash last year when it announced it would launch 13 new electrified vehicles within five years.

That was widely misreported as 13 new "electric" vehicles, which is to say either battery-electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles—which isn't the case. It includes conventional hybrids as well.

Today, Ford announced the second of the 13, which turns out to be a ruggedized version of its Ford Fusion Hybrid mid-size sedan that's been adapted for heavy-duty police use.

DON'T MISS: LAPD Gets Tesla Model S, BMW i3 Electric Cars As Police Cruisers (Sep 2015)

The Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, as the company calls it, will go on sale to police departments this spring, with deliveries to start during the summer.

It's the first of two hybrid police vehicles the company plans to release, and the first-ever pursuit-rated hybrid vehicle, shown in publicity photos wearing an intimidating black-and-white paint job.

The pursuit-rated Fusions will join adapted police versions of the Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid Fusions already in service on the streets of New York City and other cities in non-pursuit roles.

2018 Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan pursuit-rated police car

2018 Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan pursuit-rated police car

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To turn a Fusion Hybrid into a Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, Ford calibrates the hybrid control software for the unique duty cycles of law-enforcement use.

Ford says the car " automatically switches to maximum performance—with the engine and battery working at peak acceleration levels—when needed," and can run in battery-only mode up to 60 mph in some circumstances.

Pursuit certification by police agencies means a vehicle has proven to be tough enough to handle car chases for longer periods at various speeds, with the ability to cope with such obstacles as curbs and crowded intersections.

READ THIS: Tesla pursuing police cruiser market with Model S: report

The pursuit-rated Fusion Hybrid is projected to receive an EPA-estimated combined gas mileage of 38 mpg, versus the 42-mpg combined rating for the civilian version on sale today at Ford dealers.

And, Ford notes, that's more than twice the fuel economy of today’s Ford Police Interceptor with 3.7-liter V-6 engine, which would give that Taurus sedan-based vehicle a combined rating fo 18 mpg—and even lower for the model that comes with a twin-turbocharged version of that engine.

Ford says it has a 63-percent share of the market for police vehicles in the U.S. and suggests that police departments could save almost $3,900 a year in fuel costs with its hybrid pursuit vehicle.

2018 Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan pursuit-rated police car

2018 Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan pursuit-rated police car

Enlarge Photo

And it notes that in addition to fuel savings, the Police Responder Hybrid Sedan significantly reduces emissions by switching off its engine when stopped—whereas other police vehicles must idle with their engines turned on.

The Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan will be officially launched today in New York and Los Angeles.

CHECK OUT: LA police to buy 100 BMW i3 electric cars for department use

“Patrol vehicles are a police officer’s office," said Charlie Beck, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, ahead of a morning announcement by the department and Ford.

"We expect them to not only be economically and environmentally efficient, but also an effective tool for fighting crime in major metropolitan areas.”

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