2014 Police Interceptor Utility

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2014 Police Interceptor Utility
RCR FPIU Thumb.jpg
Car Details
Make Ford
Model Explorer Police Interceptor Utility
Year 2014
Owner Nick S., Bethlehem Township Fire Department
Episode Details
Episode Link Watch
Season Mammoth Winter
Air Date April 24, 2017
Credits u/Hullian111

We drive and review the Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility. This is naturally Aspirated and...eh it's not as fast as you might want it to be.


2014 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor Utility.
INTRO SONG, THE ROMAN (please find original tune!)
Because it’s a new police SUV, let’s ride…
This is the Police Interceptor Utility. This isn’t the ‘wanna look like a cop’ vehicle, it is a police vehicle, kinda. It is in service, kinda. Originally a sheriff’s car, this Interceptor Utility is now a fire command vehicle in Bethlehem, so thank you to Bethlehem Fire and Rescue for allowing Nicholas to work with us, and Nicholas owns this Interceptor himself, so that’s how where- how we were able to drive it.

Like all police vehicles, Interceptors are gutted before private sale. Nicholas bought it, re-upfitted it with red and white fire emergency lights, radios, and a siren. And this Interceptor never had a divider, so you can put the seats all the way back. The spotlight remains, and this Interceptor had a full service history from a Ford dealer.

Right…how fast does it go? M’kay – the 4.6 modular V8 is long gone. In it’s place is the 3.7 litre Cyclone – I don’t know why it says DuraTec here – V6, with double cams, and four valves per cylinder which comes in either naturally-aspirated, which has 305-ish horsepower and 280 pound feet of torque, or it comes as the twin-turbo Ecoboost, which uses two BorgWarner K03 turbochargers, making about 365 horsepower at 5500RPM and 350 pound feet at 3000RPM. Now, I estimated these numbers from the Lincoln Mark X(pronounced as 10), because Ford is understandably cagey about how much power they’re giving the Interceptor Utility Ecoboost, so, if anyone knows for real, let me know, but this Interceptor doesn’t have the Ecoboost V6.

[TEXT: Edit: Ford says it right on the website: 365hp for the Ecoboost Interceptor]

It has the naturally-aspirated one pulling… all of this.

I- I know… the Cyclone V6 is an improvement over the dime-a-dozen 4.6 Modular V8, which made… maybe 250 horse in the omnipresent Crown Vics, but this is me putting my foot to the floor in an NA Police Utility:

[MR. REGULAR:] Alright, but now we get that- wow, that dropped down fast!


[MR. REGULAR:] Alright… *engine accelerating* I have my foot on the floor… in a Police Interceptor Crown Vic- (sic) 
See, see? The kickdown is great. The Ford 6F 6-speed automatic transmission kicks down faster than any auto I’ve ever driven, and it holds the Cyclone V6 in the power band like a CVT, but there’s no escaping the limitations of a naturally-aspirated, medium displacement V6 in a large SUV. This police car isn’t fast on the highway. It’s quick in town, mhmm, and the all-wheel-drive digs in, but…ehh… without positive manifold pressure, the highway pulls make that V6 gasp for oxygen.

The Interceptor Utility is, itself, governed at, I think, 141 miles an hour. And I know what you’re doing. I know what you’re doing. You’re listing in your head all the can that can outrun an NA Interceptor Utility. So, I’ll help you: Mitsubishi Evo 9; Corvette C7; C6; C5; BMW E92; Hellcat; RX-7 FD; Audi R8; Audi S4. But no-one can out run a radio.

[TEXT: No one can outrun a radio.]

It’s only available in all-wheel drive and has improved traction control and larger disc brakes. This is the official car of casual country music fandom, because if you’re going to sit in this thing all day, you’re going to get curious with the radio dial, and you- and you know, Garth Brooks is corn-fed chicken-fried pop country to a lot of people, but that man has seven albums certified DIAMOND! Seven albums that sold ten million copies or more. That’s more than any other artist in history. And yet, I’ll bet there are a lot of people out there who couldn’t name one song. Do you even know how catchy ‘Friends in Low Places’ is? Even outside of the context of a drunken bar sing-along? 

Anyway, last April, Ford recalled 75,000 of the 2014-2015 Ford Explorer SUVs and Police Interceptor Utility vehicles, due to the left and rear-right suspension tow links fracturing. Turns out, the make and model had a history of shoddy welding during manufacturing, which led to steering difficulty, along with the risk of losing control of the vehicle altogether. Naturally, when you’re competing for the same market share as the Jeep Grand Cherokee, you cannot afford negative publicity at this level. Because then, sales take a tumble, and suddenly your brand is getting DRY-DOCKED by America’s sweetheart from the mid-90s.

Interceptor Utility: the official car of guys named Steve going prematurely grey, and spouses who will ask, but never understand, how my day really was.

But why do people react to this car with suspicious awe? This is different to the P71 Crown Vic, in the sense that the P71 projected the image of a civilian putting on the costume of authority for his own purposes. But this explorer actually confer upon the driver a certain measure of authority, because this is a modern police car, and that carries with it a kind of civil anxiety.

It’s all sociology at this point. And it goes back to the three types of authority that Max Weber wrote about in the early 1900s.

[TEXT, DISPLAYED ALONGSIDE PORTRAIT: Max Weber // Sociologist // Born 1864 // Died 1920]

Number one: there’s rational legal authority.

[TEXT: Rational Legal Authority]

Which is legitimised by pre-existing rules and laws overseen by a form of government.

Number two is traditional authority.

[TEXT: Traditional Authority]

That’s authority that’s legitimised by respect for tradition. Its inherited from one generation to the next. You show respect to this authority, because everybody does, and everyone before already has.

And third is charismatic authority.

[TEXT: Charismatic Authority]

Which is inspired by the leader’s ability to inspire loyalty in his or her followers, whether through qualified skills or charismatic rhetoric.

So where does the Explorer land on this chart? Mmm…well… it’s probably on the rational legal authority side of things,

[TEXT: Rational Legal Authority]

But even then, you have to take into consideration how the aesthetic of law enforcement has changed over the years. This is just what law enforcement looks like now. The P71 didn’t get shifty looks from younger bystanders when we reviewed it, because this isn’t what a police car looks like to them anymore. But we got tons of nervous looks from just about everyone we drove past in this thing. And that kind of…unease… is the consequence of a mistrust in authority, because no matter who you are, you’ve done something. And your time is coming. At least that’s the perception of the bystander: whether you’ve done anything wrong or not, it’s not hard to tense up when this Explorer rolls by. 

Because it just has the look of ill-gotten authority. You really have no idea what kind of authority figure is going to be on the other side of that windshield. Is it the former nerd who’s taken all of the resentment of his bullied youth out on the local skatepark? Is it the guy who’s generally looking to make the world a better place? The guy who idealistically believes in justice? The guy who just lets you get off with a warning? Or could it be the guy with many straws, of which you’re the last one? Or the bro who sees the badge as an extension of the power he abused in high school?

All of this is just a creative way of saying: police officers are people just like us, with their own virtues and perversions. Behind that glass is just two arms, two legs, and a head with a brain in it. Maybe a dog. But authority casts a long shadow, and some are motivated by the desire to avoid being consumed by it. To expect every LEO to match Chief Marge Gunderson’s purity, richness, and morality, even during moments of crisis, is unreasonable.

Regular Car Reviews has a positive relationship with law enforcement, because if we’ve ever learned anything, it’s this: people want to be people, and at the end of the day, to be understood as human.
Everybody is wondering when and how they’ll break the law,
Everybody is worried who they’re gonna ring for their one phone call,
But no-one knows for certain when they run into the police,
Guess I’ll just stop disturbing the peace.