The Hightstown Police Department obtained three 2013 Ford Police Interceptors Tuesday, updating an aging fleet of police vehicles.
According to Police Director James Le Tellier, one Interceptor replaces a 2001 police vehicle that is no longer in commission, while two more are additions to a fleet of 2001 and 2008 Crown Victorias.
When comparing vechicles, Le Tellier said the department considered the Chevy Caprice with a Corvette engine and the Dodge Challenger with a Hemi engine.
However, with a V-6 engine and a 6-speed transmission all wheel drive, he felt the overall design and handling, including acceleration and deceleration, of the Ford Interceptors were far superior to the others.
“These cars are designed from the ground up as police cars,” Le Tellier said.
Like the Crown Victoria Police cars the department currently uses, the new Police Interceptors meet a 70 mph rear impact test, Le Tellier said.
Additionally, he said the all-wheel-drive system offers better handling and stability, especially in snow.
According to Le Tellier, during 10-hour shifts of police duty, police vehicles idle for approximately 6.7 hours of the duration. He believes Ford has made significant improvements on idle consumption.
The latest Taurus Interceptor will also use 35 percent less fuel at idle thanks to its smaller displacement 3.5 liter V6 engine, and overall fuel consumption is 25 percent better then the Crown Victoria patrol cars, Le Tellier said.
The vehicles were purchased on a multi year lease/buy option to keep cost down, he said. This allows the department to utilize three vehicles now and pay for a car per year, purchasing the vehicles at the end of each lease for $1.