It has cool rims, a powerful V6 engine, a gun vault in the trunk and bullet-proof front doors.
"I call it a little tank on wheels," Lisa Teed, a marketing manager at Ford Motor Co., said during a vehicle demonstration Tuesday at a U.S. Cellular Field parking lot.
Otherwise known as the Police Interceptor, the vehicle is produced at the Ford Assembly Plant on Chicago's Far South Side. Since production began in January, police departments across the country have placed orders for 15,500 Interceptors, which comes in both sedan and sports utility versions, Teed said. Canadian law enforcement agencies have placed about 800 orders.
Thanks to the orders, Ford added 1,200 jobs, roughly doubling employment, in May at the assembly plant. The Interceptors are replacing the Crown Victoria, which have been used by law enforcement for about two decades. Production of that model ended last year.
As police departments are operating on tight budgets and using cars longer, Teed said it may take as long as four years before the Interceptors to completely replace the old models.
Chicago has ordered 185 Interceptors, including 132 of the sport utility vehicles and 53 sedans. They are expected to hit the streets in November and early next year. In total, the city plans to purchase 500 Police Interceptors at a cost of at least $15 million over five years.
The basic sedan is priced in the low $20,000 range and the utility between $25,000 and $30,000.
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