New Police Interceptor Utility Is also the New Ford Explorer

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In showing us the new Police Interceptor Utility with hybrid power, Ford provides details on the all-new Ford Explorer.

Ford recently debuted a new hybrid Police Interceptor Utility and talked about the efficiency of the new vehicle. The photos they shared were full of lens flare and taken at night. You could barely make out the underlying vehicle. Why is that? Because it’s the new, rear-wheel drive-based Explorer.

It has been long speculated that the new Explorer will return to its rear-wheel drive roots while still retaining all-wheel drive as an upgrade. We’re expecting that update around the time the 2020 models are set to go on sale. And if you look closely at Ford’s announcement and the on-sale date for the new Police Interceptor Utility, you’ll see that’s when it’s supposed to launch.

“The all-new Ford Police Interceptor hybrid will be built at the Ford Chicago assembly plant and up-fitted at Ford’s Chicago Modification Center. It goes on sale next summer.”

This would also explain why the press images have so much lens flare. Even if you zoom in closely, it’s hard to make out details of the vehicle. But there are some things worth pointing out.


On the current Explorer-based Interceptor (shown above), the fog lights have a squarer design and also houses the red and blue strobes. On this new version (show below), the strobes are wider and narrower. The big giveaway, though, is the headlights. They have more of an angle at the bottom of the design, giving them a more pointed look.


Unfortunately, not many details are actually given about the capability of the new Explorer except for some of the hybrid features of the Police Interceptor Utility. Many of the features talked about aren’t something you’d find in the civilian version.

So, when will we see more details about the new Ford Explorer?

We expect to see it revealed at the 2019 North American International Auto show in Detroit, or at the Chicago Auto Show in February. Chicago makes a lot of sense since that is where the vehicle is built. Also, Detroit will be busy with Bronco news — we hope.

Expect the hybrid powertrain to be carried over to the consumer version. Since the Police version is all-wheel drive, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the hybrid civilian version have all-wheel drive, too. We also expect the 2.7L EcoBoost to appear in the lineup, and maybe even the 2.3L that’ll be in the new Ranger in the base model Explorer.

Explorer is an important nameplate for Ford. Do you like what you see in terms of changes?

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Truck Home Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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