Ford F-150 Police Responder Debuts To Critical Acclaim, But Is It Truly ‘Pursuit Rated’?

Ford F-150 Police Responder Debuts To Critical Acclaim, But Is It Truly 'Pursuit Rated'?

The Ford F-150 Police Responder is a “pursuit rated” vehicle, and as the automaker sees it, the new pickup truck is the first of its kind “specially designed” for police use. But some are questioning whether the Blue Oval has the right to call its new pickup truck the first such vehicle created for cops.

In a report from CNN, Ford’s new police vehicle was described as a truck designed for chasing criminals “through deserts and forest trails.” Powered by a turbocharged V6 engine rated at 375 horsepower, the new truck also comes with “police-calibrated” brakes and a special front stabilizer bar. But the Ford F-150 Police Responder’s main selling point may be its “pursuit rated” status — in the truck’s case, this means it’s capable of maintaining speeds of up to 100 miles per hour on the street for an extended period of time.

According to Ford, police brand marketing manager Stephen Tyler, the F-150 Police Responder can also seat five people comfortably and is capable of performing well in a variety of rural and off-road environments.

Other cop-friendly features include plates in the back of the truck’s front seats to protect policemen from getting stabbed by rear-seat occupants, heavy-duty vinyl covering for the back seats and floor, and a gear selector mounted on the steering column, thus allowing cops enough room for their police equipment.

This may sound all well and good for police departments looking forward to the Ford F-150 Police Responder, but the truck’s “pursuit rated” status — supposedly the first ever in the pickup truck space — has been called into question.

Writing for Forbes, Navigant Research senior analyst Sam Abuelsamid said that people may be duped into thinking that the words “pursuit rated” mean that the F-150 Police Responder has been certified by a major police agency that runs independent tests on law enforcement vehicles. Instead, the words are all part of Ford’s internal language, as there’s no official board that could independently certify a police vehicle as being “pursuit rated,” much like no third party can do the same to certify Jeep’s SUVs as being “trail rated.”

Abuelsamid also noted that there are other entities that use the words “pursuit rated,” including the Michigan State Police, which uses the term for patrol vehicles similar to the Ford F-150 Police Responder. “Pursuit rated” is also used by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with the Dodge Charger Pursuit, though the Charger, unlike the F-150 Police Responder pickup truck, is normally sold as a high-performance muscle car.

Although there’s great debate as to whether the Ford F-150 Police Responder is deserving to be called the first “pursuit rated” truck for police officers, reviews of the vehicle have been largely positive. USA Today noted that the F-150 Police Responder stands out for its off-road capabilities, while producing more horsepower and torque from its turbo six engine than Chevrolet’s police pursuit vehicle and Dodge’s Charger Pursuit produce from their normally aspirated V8 engines.

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