The first 2018 Ford F-150 to arrive on the scene is one you can’t buy, but could ride in some day. That’s because it’s reserved for law-enforcement duty only. Ford says the F-150 Police Responder introduced today is the first pickup truck it expects will be certified for high-speed pursuit use — up to 100 mph — by the Michigan State Police and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The 2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder joins the Explorer Police Interceptor Utility and Taurus Police Interceptor, as well as the non-pursuit-rated F-150 Special Service pickup, Taurus Special Service Sedan, Expedition/MAX Special Service SUV and Transit Prisoner Transfer Vehicle in Ford’s extensive law-enforcement vehicle portfolio.
The high-speed F-150 pursuit truck is based on a 4-wheel-drive 4-door SuperCrew with the FX4 Off-Road package. Peeking out behind the new Police Responder’s massive push bar is the 2018 F-150’s new face, featuring a wider grille, a contoured bumper and larger headlamps. Under the skin, the Police Responder packs the F-150’s torquiest engine, the 375-hp 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 with 470 lb-ft of twist on tap. It’s hooked to Ford’s new 10-speed automatic, switched from a console shifter to a column-shifter to make room for the lights, sirens, radios, computers, ordinance and such that are custom-installed by law-enforcement aftermarket upfitters. The original console is deleted. A stiffer front stabilizer bar and upgraded brake calipers and linings help cope with the 5400-lb pickup’s high-speed dynamic challenges. All-terrain 18-inch tires add some off-pavement bite — handy, Ford says, for such uses as fish-and-game, rural-sheriff or border-patrol duty.
Inside, the front bucket seats are covered with extra-thick cloth fabric, and the front lower seatbacks are recessed to clear gear hooked to an officer’s utility belt. Steel “anti-stab” plates in the front seatbacks also protect the officers’ backs. Not that you’d want to spend any time back there, but the back seat is plenty roomy and vinyl-covered — as is the floor — for the messy business of law enforcement. Ford says the Police Responder will “comfortably” seat five.
Finally, a police-calibrated speedometer is onboard to end any differences of opinion on exactly how fast you were going back there. Look for the 2018 Ford F-150 Police Responder in your rearview mirror sometime this fall.