Public Safety

Ford's new pursuit-rated F-150 gives police access to 400 horsepower, off-road capability

The new full-size Ford truck Forhas yielded a fresh take on the pursuit-rated version of the F-150.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The new 2021 Ford F-150 has brought about a new version of Ford's pursuit-rated 2021 F-150 Police Responder. The truck is specifically made for police officers and the demanding tasks required by their jobs.

The fresh Police Responder takes the best aspects the F-150 and the Ford Police Interceptor Utility (its pursuit-rated take on the Explorer) and combines them into a compelling package.

"Law enforcement agencies told us they would love to add F-150 Police Responder towing, hauling, and off-road performance to their fleets, but they need more confidence in speed and handling," said Greg Ebel, Ford police vehicle brand manager. "Whether suburban police departments, border patrol agents or rural sheriffs, officers never know where the job might take them, but the all-new F-150 Police Responder provides a pickup truck option engineered to get them there faster and with greater agility than ever before."

2022 Ford F-150 Police Responder The F-150 Police Responder is available with pre-installed warning beacons.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

2022 Ford F-150 Police Responder

Each 2021 F-150 Police Responder starts life as a 2021 F-150 SuperCrew truck. That body style allows the truck to deliver more passenger volume than any other pursuit-rated vehicle.

The F-150's strong architecture makes the truck capable of towing up to 11,200 pounds (a 7,000-pound capacity is standard). An available Trailer Tow Package adds Pro Trailer Backup Assist. Checking the options box for the Tow Technology Package adds a 360-degree camera, Trailer Reverse Guidance, and integrated Trailer Brake Controller. Smart Trailer Tow Connector is standard on Class IV hitch-equipped vehicles and adds Trailer Coverage to the available blind spot monitoring system.

Ford has given the truck a standard 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that produces 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with Ford's smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission. Both the engine and transmission have been calibrated specifically for police needs. The truck has a top speed of 120 mph.

A number of drivetrain modes are available.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

LED police warning beacons are available pre-installed in red and blue, amber, or amber and white.

Police Engine Idle technology, currently available in the Ford Police Interceptor Utility, will also be made available in the F-150. It allows the officer to remove the key from the ignition and ecurely exit the truck with the engine running. Officers can continue to power lights and sirens without worry of vehicle theft.

Up to four traditional fleet keys per truck or up to four available fobs with keyless entry will be available per truck.

The truck's torque-on-demand transfer care includes a 4-Auto mode and allows the truck to run on two-wheel drive for fuel savings then automatically switch to four-wheel drive when conditions require. The F-150 FX4 Off-Road Package adds to the off-road prowess giving the truck skid plates, off- road-tuned shocks, electronic-locking rear axle, and hill descent control.

A center console delete option allows agencies to customize their trucks.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The rig rides on Goodyear LT265/70R18 LRC BSW Wrangler Enforcer all-terrain tires. They're the only all-terrain tires available on a pursuit-rated vehicle.

The interior of the truck is optimized for officers. It features more interior passenger volume and more head, hip and shoulder room than any other pursuit-rated offering. Front seat bolsters are sized to make it easier for an officer wearing a duty belt to enter or exit the vehicle.

The darker-colored interior, including police-grade heavy-duty cloth front seats, was influenced by officer input. It features built-in steel intrusion plates in both front seatbacks for officer safety, as well as red-and-white task lighting.

The truck's infotainment system runs on SYNC 4 with cloud connectivity. The standard 8-inch infotainment touch screen in the center stack features an embedded modem that allows for over-the-air updates. This tech makes officers able to conduct their own in-vehicle software updates while on-the-go or parked.

The interior of the Police Responder is dark, fulfilling the wishes of officers Ford worked with to create the design.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

A four-inch productivity screen in the instrument cluster is standard on the model.

Like the Ford eTransit, the automaker is offering the Ford Police Responder with the Ford Telematics system. The intelligent fleet management tool is designed to help improve uptime, optimize running costs, enable predictive planning of unscheduled maintenance and improve driver behavior over time.

The truck can be outfitted with many safety and driver assist technologies that the traditional F-150 has including pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, which includes forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Blind spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert are available.

Upfitting the vehicle is made easy with a front console-delete, universal top tray on the instrument panel and rear power lug. The 40-blank-40 front seat configuration lets agencies install their own department-specific center console. A new factory-installed center console is available as part of the Interior Upgrade Package, as is a new Interior Work Surface that provides an adjustable flat surface for writing or computer work.

The new F-150 Police Responder is assembled at Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri, and arrives in fleets later this fall.

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New off-roader

Ford Bronco Production Officially Begins

The Ford Bronco is finally ready for primetime.

Ford

The time is finally here. After years of speculation and several months of pandemic-related delays, the Ford Bronco is starting to roll off the assembly line. The SUV marks the first new Bronco model in Ford's lineup in 15 years, not counting the Bronco Sport, and is one of the most hyped and sought-after vehicles to hit the market in quite some time. Ford's announcement that production has begun will be accompanied by a special YouTube presentation that Ford says will include interviews with the Bronco team and with reservation holders at the automaker's new Modification Center.


2021 Ford Bronco Ford added 2,700 jobs to support Bronco production.Ford


Bronco production has driven Ford to invest $750 million into its Michigan Assembly Plant, and the automaker says it has added 2,700 jobs to support the rollout. Ford's push to begin production can't come soon enough. Over 125,000 Bronco orders have been placed, and multiple delays have pushed the vehicle's arrival back, meaning there is considerable demand for the off-road legend.

Ford is ready to capitalize on the craze and will offer several ways to customize the new vehicle. At its 1.7 million square-foot Modification Center, The Blue Oval will factory-install several optional modifications that include equipment such as a front bumper safari bar, graphics packages, roof racks, and more. That's on top of more than 200 factory-backed accessories that can be installed at the dealer, either at or after the time of purchase.


2021 Ford Bronco Delays and production difficulties have pushed the Bronco back.Ford


If you are hoping to get behind the wheel of a new Bronco, it could be a while. Even buyers that have been in line for a while now might not see their new vehicle until late 2021 or 2022, and the vehicle's official rollout will almost certainly re-spike demand. Even so, many feel it's worth the wait, and Ford's vehicle configuration tool is live, so go check it out for yourself.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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