Ford recently two vehicles that are sure to raise some eyebrows. It’s what they call an all-new Police SUV (Interceptor Utility) with a gas/electric hybrid powertrain. The obscured image of this police cruiser looks like a Ford Explorer at first, but closer inspection reveals new headlights and other new design elements. Does it mean this is what the next all-new rear-wheel-drive chassis Explorer will look like? There are still many unknowns about this new Interceptor. Ford says that the new hybrid power system could save up to 40% in fuel usage with an estimated 24 MPG combined number. Ford did not release any power numbers or other specifications.
The second vehicle is the 2019 Transit Connect Taxi with a diesel engine. We know a bit more about the power under the hood of this new people carrier. It’s a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel that is connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The estimated highway fuel efficiency is set at 30 MPG. This van is setup for five people in total with a cavernous 60 cu-ft cargo compartment behind the rear seats. This is more cargo volume than a Nissan NV200 Taxi van.
The interesting part about these two commercial grade vehicles is that they continue the usage of alternative powertrain options: hybrids and turbo-diesels. The age of all gasoline-powered police and taxi vehicles is far behind us. Gas/electric hybrid power is the current favorite for many commercial vehicle manufacturers. It’s interesting to see that Ford is also bringing out a turbo-diesel into a climate that does not look very favorably on diesels. Perhaps, full-electric power is where the step will take these runabouts that endure mostly stop-n-go city driving.
Here is a first detailed look at the updated 2019 Ford Transit Connect.