What does the Ford Police Interceptor have in common with the Tesla Model S electric car?
The Tesla has a massive center-stack touchscreen for secondary controls, and now the Ford has one two, albeit a bit smaller.
The touchscreen was designed for installation in Ford police cars by aftermarket supplier Havis.Unveiled at the recent ITS World Congress in Detroit (via Sam Abuelsamid), the screen only measures 12.1 inches--compared to the Tesla's 17 inches--but arguably performs a more important function.
While technology has proliferated in civilian cars largely for entertainment or convenience purposes, police officers need it to perform their jobs.
Ford's Havis' touchscreen serves as an alternative to the console-mounted laptops cops typically use for communication, or to pull up the driving records of people they catch speeding.
In addition to freeing up space on the center console, the touchscreen doesn't pose a risk of becoming detached during a crash. It also features a separate keyboard and track pad for a more computer-like interface.
Ford Police Interceptor touchscreen. Photo courtesy of Sam Abuelsamid.
The two vehicles' gasoline V-6 powertrains don't return noteworthy fuel economy, but they do outperform the old V-8 Crown Victoria, long considered the standard for police vehicles.
Ford also offers a Special Service Police Sedan with the same 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine used in the civilian Taurus. With an EPA-rated 24 mpg combined (20 mpg city, 30 mpg highway), it's the most fuel-efficient police car currently available.
However, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost is not pursuit rated. High-speed chases are bad for gas mileage, anyway.
While the Police Interceptors share powertrains with their civilian counterparts, the new touchscreen may not be available to non-police buyers.
As an aftermarket add-on, it almost certainly won't be available from dealerships, and since it's intended for police applications installing one in a regular Taurus or Explorer probably won't be possible either.
[UPDATE: This article has been updated to reflect that the touchscreen is installed by aftermarket supplier Havis, not by Ford itself.]