John Gilbert Staff Editor
March 14, 2016

On March 10, 2016, Ford announced it will offer ballistic panels on the Police Interceptor sedan and utility with protection from armor-piercing rifle ammunition. In laymen’s terms that means both the Police Interceptor sedan and SUV are bulletproof.

The Ford factory-equipped vehicles are the first pursuit-rated police vehicles in the U.S. to offer ballistic protection up to Department of Justice’s (DOJ) National Institute of Justice standard Type IV. According to the Department of Justice the description of a Type IV ballistic panel is: “Type IV hard armor or plate inserts shall be tested in a conditioned state with .30 caliber armor piercing (AP) bullets (U.S. Military designation M2 AP) with a specified mass of 10.8 g (166 gr) and a velocity of 878 m/s ± 9.1 m/s (2880 ft/s ± 30 ft/s).”

While the number of shootouts between police and criminals using high-powered, armor-piercing rifle ammunition is low, they are unfortunately becoming more common.

“The fact that we design our Police Interceptors around officer feedback is what has made them number one. Officers globally told us they needed protection from armor piercing ammunition and we added increased ballistic protection to an already great product—that’s continuous innovation,” said Arie Groeneveld, chief engineer, Ford Police Interceptors.

The Type IV panels are an additional option above and beyond existing ballistic panel protection offered by Ford.

Optional Type III ballistic panels are already on duty in agencies around the U.S. and are rated to protect against all handgun and non–armor-piercing bullets up to .30 caliber (specifically up to 7.62mm x 51mm NATO M80 ball ammunition) as well as special threat rounds identified by the Los Angeles Police Department.

The optional ballistic panels are in addition to a long list of existing features aimed at protecting officers, including Ford Police Interceptor safety cell construction to aid structural integrity.

Ford says other examples of its commitment to officer safety include a 75-mph rear crash test rating, police-tuned suspensions, police brakes, steel wheels, and unique police interiors as well as a range of upfit options.

It’s interesting to note that the police cars used in the Rambo movie First Blood were retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police 1977-1979 LTD II Police Interceptors, the model right before the Crown Vic was introduced. Police officers familiar with the 1977-1979 LTD II Police Interceptors with firsthand knowledge of how the LTD II behaved in the field reported, “They weren’t very fast, or handled all that well, but they sure made a good barricade.”