Ford launched a pursuit-rated police-package version of its F-150 pickup, the 2018 F-150 Police Responder, on July 20, and it arrives ready for action with suspension and brake upgrades and vomit-ready rear seats.

While police departments have long used pickup trucks in Western Canada and beyond in the fulfillment of their duties, they’ve never had a pursuit-rated pickup at their disposal, but rather slightly modified civilian trucks that aren’t particularly happy or confidence-inspiring when driven at high speeds.

Ford’s F-150 Police Responder is the industry’s first high-speed-ready police pickup, and it will naturally appeal to police departments that have significant amounts of rural territory in their catchment areas.

The truck is powered by Ford’s now-commonplace 3.5-litre turbocharged V6 engine, sending 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, or all-four wheels when the transfer case is locked into 4X4 mode.

Just how quick can this police truck go? Ford says its F-150 Police Responder is capable of hitting 161 km/h, meaning any miscreant who intends to escape the clutches of this pickup will need plenty of horsepower underfoot.

A beefed-up front stabilizer bar adds to the pickup’s high-speed stability while custom-compound brake pads, upgraded calipers, and customized ABS software help bring the truck to a halt.

The F-150 Police Responder is based on the civilian-market F-150 FX4 off-road model, meaning it comes equipped with under-body skid plates; increased wheel articulation; improved approach, break-over and departure angles over the generic F-150; and off-road ready tires.

The truck’s interior is customized for police use with a column-mounted gear-selector, centre-seat delete and slimly-padded front seat bolsters which allow ample room for an officer’s utility belt and service weapon while seated and buckled in.

The front seats are also equipped with steel anti-stab plates, while the rear seats are vinyl-wrapped for easy cleanup of bodily fluids.

The plethora of electronic devices affixed in the interior will be powered by a heavy-duty, high-output 240-amp alternator, so as not to leave an officer out of commission.

The speedometer has been police-calibrated, and for ease of servicing and tracking, engine-hour and engine-idle-hour metres are included in the dash.

With the launch of its pursuit-rated F-150, Ford has become the only police vehicle provider to offer a conveyance that is suitable for both off-road and high-speed on-road pursuits.

“Ford’s 2018 F-150 Police Responder is the perfect all-terrain law enforcement vehicle,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford’s police brand marketing manager.

“Aside from its industry-first on-road pursuit capability, this purpose-built pickup can comfortably seat five, while providing capability in off-road patrol situations for officers in rural environments.”

(Ford)