Skip to main content

Ford’s police edition of the F-150 takes the chase off road

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.

2016 Ford F-150 Special Service Vehicle

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.

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Watch Ford testing its next-gen driver-assist tech on a mega road trip
watch ford testing its new driver assist tech on road trip bluecruise

Introducing BlueCruise: Hands-Free Highway Driving | Ford

Ford took its next-generation driver-assist technology on a North American road trip that covered more than 100,000 miles.

Read more
2021 Ford F-150 hybrid first drive review: Tech can be tough
2021 ford f 150 review front three quarter

People talk about “car shopping” but, statistically speaking, most Americans drive off the dealership lot in a pickup truck. The Ford F-150 is the bestselling vehicle in the United States — and has been for decades. Its main rivals, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500, aren’t far behind on the sales charts.

The F-150 has maintained its dominance in part because it has changed with the times. The modern F-150 is no spartan work vehicle. It has the same level of infotainment and driver-assist tech as most passenger cars, with good-enough road manners to serve as a daily driver.

Read more
2021 Tesla Cybertruck vs. 2021 Ford F-150

Tesla strongly hinted the Cybertruck won't compete in the same segment of the market as the popular Ford F-150, and whether they'll appeal to the same target audience remains to be seen, but the two pickups will inevitably overlap in many areas. Both were designed to tow, haul, venture off the beaten path, and commute.

Keep in mind Tesla won't begin building the Cybertruck until 2021 at the earliest. You can't walk to the nearest Tesla store and take one for a test drive because it's not in production; we haven't even seen the production version of it yet. The comparison with the F-150 is largely hypothetical, and all specs listed here are subject to change.
Design and tech

Read more