Ford turns the F-150 into a different kind of police vehicle

You’ve seen police cars, but what about a police truck? They’re not very well suited to high-speed chases, but pickup trucks can still be useful to law enforcement agencies. They can carry plenty of gear, and go where traditional sedans can’t.

The 2016 Ford F-150 Special Service Vehicle aims to fill that niche. Ford already offers police cars based on the Taurus, Explorer, and Expedition, and apparently decided it needed yet another police vehicle in its stable. Like the other vehicles, the F-150 is mostly stock, with some modifications for police duty.

Of course, there’s a light bar on the roof, and it’s backed by a high-out, 240-amp alternator that helps deal with the extra electrical demand of different accessories, and can stand up better to long idle times. Befitting a no-frills fleet vehicle, you won’t find any chrome or flashy alloy wheels on this truck.

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The interior is also completely reconfigured for police work. The front seating area includes a blank space in the middle to create space for different types of gear. A more basic dashboard with no center console and a column-mounted shifter are shared with other fleet-oriented versions of the F-150. The floor and the entire rear bench seat are covered in vinyl for easy cleanup of dirt, grime, and (probably) bodily fluids.

The Special Service Vehicle is based on the F-150 XL, the lowest of myriad F-150 trim levels. It’s available with either a SuperCab extended cab or a SuperCrew cab with four full-size doors. Engine choices include Ford’s 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6, and 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8. These make 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, and 385 hp and 387 lb-ft., respectively, in civilian versions of the F-150.

Guilty drivers have gotten used to picking out Ford Crown Victoria or Taurus sedans from traffic, just in case they might be Johnny Law. Now they’ll have to keep an eye out for the numerous F-150s on the road as well.

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