AD #2084 – Ford Introduces Hybrid Police Car, Jeep Drops Hellcat Engine In Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Bullish On Small Trucks

April 10th, 2017 at 11:42am

Runtime: 7:50

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- Toyota Makes Big Investment In Kentucky
- Ford Introduces Hybrid Police Car
- Infiniti Hints At Future Design Direction
- Lynk & Co. Reveals Wild Concept
- Jeep Drops Hellcat Engine In Grand Cherokee
- Hyundai Bullish On Small Trucks

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22 Comments to “AD #2084 – Ford Introduces Hybrid Police Car, Jeep Drops Hellcat Engine In Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Bullish On Small Trucks”

  1. DavidSprowl Says:

    I agree about the pick up trucks. Like all automotive the original usually gets larger. If I could get a smaller vehicle where I cold put an 8 foot whatever in the bed and still have the tail gate up, I’d buy it. I really like my old avalanche, but that puts me in the weirdo truck buyer category. I just don’t like the size

  2. Ctech Says:

    FCA is really diluting the Hellcat brand name. There’s a lot of car people who are bored with the Demon even before it’s introduced. It may be time to focus more on a blockbuster car/suv for a wider audience if FCA truly wants to see their brands grow.

  3. Ctech Says:

    It will be interesting to see the Ford hybrid Interceptor value at the end of 100,000 miles or 5 years when police departments retire them. If you ran a taxi or uber service would you buy it?

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Fusion hybrid police car should be reliable enough, as Ford uses a similar mechanically simple hybrid system to Toyota. I’d want a new battery, or extended battery warranty, tbough, if buying one to use as a taxi.

  5. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Before Sean revealed the Link and Co. Concept, what I saw in the pictures was maybe a next gen Camaro; maybe the CCC means: Camaro Copy Cat. ;)

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Demon never appealed much to me, because I was never very interesting in drag racing. Somehow, a version of a regular car, purpose built for drag racing doesn’t make sense. Don’t drag racers like to “do their own thing,” rather than just buy a car to race?

    As far as the Hellcat Jeep, I kind of like it, even though I am not an “SUV person” at all. The Jeep, being lowered an inch, is more like a really fast station wagon. It will cost too much, and get really bad gas mileage, but it’s still kind of cool IMHO.

  7. Bradley Says:

    Hyundai Small Truck-bed vehicle….yes!!

    With huge emphasis on the “small” aspect please. Smaller than the Honda Ridgeline please.

  8. Roger Blose Says:

    The battery pack in the Fusion hybrid cop car must be upgraded to handle all of the extra electrical equipment like lights, radar, computers, and radios. The service life is way more severe compared to a stock hybrid. The used cop car market could be a problem without a fresh battery at 100K+.

  9. BobD Says:

    While not “pursuit-rated”, GM sold their 2008-2014 hybrid Tahoe in a police configuration. The main fuel savings was not while it was driving, but rather from the large hybrid battery that allowed extended “engine-off” operation of lights, computers, and other electrical draw when the vehicle was “parked”. Standard police vehicles spend a lot of their life idling just to provide power for accessories.

  10. Lisk Says:

    The hybrid batteries do not have anything to do with the operation of any electrical equipment other than moving the car. A standard 12 volt system operates all the normal operating accessories. The old GM hybrid system from the truck & Tahoes did have a 115 volt inverter that did use the hybrid battery. On a Volt if the 12v battery is dead, the car will not start off the 400v LiOn battery pack.

  11. Len Fedoruk Says:

    It’s about time for a law enforcement hybrid. Hope the electrical power & signal distribution system is robust to handle the equipment demands (radio comm’s, computer, LEO lighting).

    When are we going to get a BEV law enforcement vehicle?

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    7, 9
    With a Prius, and I assume the Fusion hybrid, the 12 volt battery is charged via electronics from the “big” battery, as long as the hybrid system is “on.” If the car is parked with the electrical equipment on, the gas engine will crank up occasionally to keep the big battery charged, as it is depleted to keep the 12 volt battery charged. Also, the A/C is electric, but running on the big battery. Again, if you sit with the A/C on, the engine starts periodically to keep the battery charged.

  13. Roger Blose Says:

    Another thought…how do the Fusion Hybrid batteries hold up to gun fire that may be part of the law enforcement regiment? I am sure that Ford has tested this outcome.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    13 The batteries are lithium ion, so they might tend to catch fire with bullet holes.

  15. Ziggy Says:

    @7 Lets hope the Santa Cruz turns out to be a “real” truck with RWD/4WD and not some poser like the FWD/AWD Ridgeline, which is nothing more than a Honda Pilot with the back roof cut off. From pictures it looks like the size of the Ridgeline/Canyon/Colorado/Frontier/Tacoma so keep hoping for something smaller but don’t hold your breath.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    VW Rabbit caddy is a hot colkector’s item, so maybe an FWD Sante Cruz would be good, if it’s small enough.

  17. Ukendoit Says:

    A friend of mine used to have a Dodge Rampage (click the link on my name if you aren’t familiar). It was perfect for those wanting a small truck like was explained in the show. Similar to the VW, it was small with great gas mileage, handled like a sports car, and was just enough utility. Being based on the Charger, it was still manly enough to not be embarrassed by the girly-truck aspect, kind of like the old El Caminos and Rancheros.

  18. wmb Says:

    I read that NY law enforcement, may already be using a version of Ford’s hybrid Fusion for police service. IMHO, with the next Taurus being built from the Fusion’s “bones”, Ford maybe testing the waters for a future Taurus hybrid. This could be yet another feather in Ford’s efficiency cap! From the use of aluminum in their fill size trucks and SUV’s, powerful yet somewhat fuel efficient turbocharged engines and hybrids in the compact, midsized and potentially full size markets. Should this turn out to be true, outside of the big German three and Volvo, what other OEM’s offer full size Hybrid? Even if Ford should only offer a full size hybrid for police duty, the bigger platform would allow for better packaging of the hybrid equipment.

    In terns of the Hyundai truck, IMHO, that is the right move! Not everyone needs or wants a hulking vehicle that can tow a mountain. If they can keep the concepts styling in a true four door and some how include something like the Ridgeline’s magic tale gate and in bed trunk, in a package that is a little narrower/smaller then the Honda truck, with a starting price below 28k, (a tall order I know) then they might have a winner on their hands, I think!

  19. veh Says:

    Would love a smallish truck that would tow 5000 lbs. We are thinking of replacing our hulking F150 with a Colorado or equivalent, when the lease is up.

    17, I remember the Rampage. That’s a bit TOO little, LOL. Wasn’t it FWD based on the Omni?

  20. GaryPaul Says:

    The Omni/Horizon vehicles were really poor quality in an age (mainly the 1980s) of poor quality that people in many cases appear to be forgetting about. These Simca-based vehicles had cost cutting engineering that made them an undependable miserable vehicle to own. My 1987 Horizon was falling apart over and over again whether it was the window wipers failing (within one month of each other (there was one for the rear window and one for the front windshield), the carburetor failing (right after replacement from the dealer and yes the car would stall AND NOT restart after the new puppy was installed), the plastic see-through gauge cover fogging up so badly that so the gauges could not be seen(!), removing the gauge cover caused dust to get onto the gauge internals so the gauges got stuck into one position, the electric engine cooling fan integrated into the computer so that if it failed to turn on the whole computer needed replacement instead of a sensor (I hot wired the fan into the ignition so that it would run whenever the ignition was on). It was an example of really cheap cost cutting engineering. Just ask a long time mechanic here in the states about these junky machines and you’ll get an earful of problems they have. I’ve only touched the surface here but my point is that Chrysler engineering did not have a gem on their hands with these vehicles and these tiny pickups based on any architecture related to these vehicles would be highly suspect of doing anything remotely related to being a pickup truck.

    I have already related on this site about the horrendous low quality of the VW Rabbit based “pickup” from 1983 which was another loser recalling how the entire front suspension of the vehicle came crashing through the hood on a gentle drive on highway from Ohio. And the vehicle had never ever had more than 350 pounds in the bed in its life. I recall looking at the data on these vehicles indicating that they weighed about 1800 lbs!! I could not believe it, but when the suspension crashed up out of the “truck” for no known reason it reinforced just how awful these vehicles were. These are not trucks –they are not even pickups and quality was so low that anyone who says they are terrific and boy I wish i had one is living in a dream land…

    Even today with modern lightweight materials you just can’t make a really lightweight pickup without some aspect of the vehicle showing signs that it cannot take the strain!

    I agree that a truly compact pickup truck is an idea that the average do-it-yourself homeowner or small businessman could revel in. About 3000 lbs for a 4 cylinder and yes of course a 7 foot bed at least as an option. As I have written here before, the previous compact trucks (Ranger/S10/S15) had beds avaialbel that were over 7 feet long. Today it is ridiculous—yes ridiculous that you cannot get a bed much over 6 feet in length on these nearly full-sized trucks such as the Colorado/Canyon nor apparently on the upcoming Ranger. As these vehicles can weight 4,500 lbs having to use a trailer to tote your trail bike motorcycles (as the brochures sometimes show) or a garden tractor with a snow blade on it (I had to use my old 1997 Ford Ranger to bring my Cub 147 from Alabama because it would not fit in my friends massive Colorado!!). This means that there is an opportunity for competitors to come into the market and offer a real pickup truck that can really handle 1200-1500lbs in the bed and tow 3500 or more lbs that weighs 3000-3200 in 2wd long bed form.

  21. Ukendoit Says:

    20, I will agree, cars of that vintage cannot compare to the quality of today. Poor quality was in its peek abundance from late 70s – late 90s (after the first OBDIIs). That said, I did have a 1987 Charger, also based on the Omni, and my brother had the Omni 2.2. They were quick and handled well (of course they were both manual trans). Neither of us had any real issues with either of them. I eventually ran it hard with the oil level too low and overheated my engine which warped the aluminum head(at least that’s what the shop told me).
    I usually used the Charger more like a light truck, hauling bikes or whatever I wanted in the large hatch. The idea of having an open bed so everything would fit easier sounded ideal at times, but I liked the sporty look of the fastback better and the cargo was more secure that way.

  22. GaryPaul Says:

    Thanks for your comments Ukendoit.

    Yes you are right, I also noticed that the Horizon handled better & had more pep than many other sub compacts of the time such as the 86 Escort competitor of that era, but having driven both for a number of years the quality of the Ford at that time was clearly superior both inside and out (paint, interior parts, ergonomics). My Horizon was falling apart even faster than my 1980 Citation and at just 65,000 miles. In fact quality was so poor back then that regardless of what the media states the biggest problem with my Citation was workmanship (poor quality of parts–inside, outside and mechanically)and poor assembly/paint, not the locking rear brake problems. The emission controls would fail again and again with expensive repairs required, the pant would flake off when washing the car, the panel around the gauges cracked, the hatch struts failed at 10,000 miles (secret recall), the constant velocity joint boots would crack so easily, the vertical radio tape player failed (it was not designed to be played in anything but a horizontal position but GM did not care) the lower instrument panel fell to the floor while driving and yes it pinned the gas pedal to the floor hitting 5000 rpm. Even as a young wirey guy it took me about 15 seconds to figure out what to do, turn off the ignition and coast to the side of the road and rip out the lower panel to free the accelerator pedal. After endless oil changes the engine oil pump failed, destroying the distributor rotor, etc etc etc… The vehicle had 77,000 miles on it when it was sold.

    Yes the idea of a useful open bed vehicle like the Rampage could work as long as they stamped: “BED CANNOT HANDLE OVER 500 LBS” into the back or the bed in bold letters. As you recall they are not even real pickups in the traditional body?cab separate from the bed. Such a setup has traditionally allowed the flex in the bed that allowed a pickup to carry heavy weights… As you may recall Ford tried to create a pickup with a solid body (no separate bed so the side of the vehicle was one solid piece of sheet-metal with no gap between the bed and cab) in the 1961-62-63 model years and killed them after experiencing quite a few failures (kinking sheet-metal for example, or doors that became hard to open and close because of the twisting that would occur after loading the bed with weights WITHIN the manufacturers guidelines!) as people just would not use them only for the light duty work that they could handle even though they were offered on F250 which should have been able to handle heavy weights in the bed!! The technology was just not good enough at that time to produce such a product without massive reinforcements that cost $$ a manufacturer usually doesn’t want to spend! And since these single piece trucks were less costly to manufacture it meant Ford was reluctant to spend more $$ to make it MORE expensive to build! Though they were still body on frame, pickup trucks are expected to take considerable punishment and come back for more so the idea needed time for technology to catch up.

    Ford in fact offered the separate bed from cab setup again in 1962 to reduce consumer complains and recommended to dealers to sell the real truck user on the separate bed models…

    Today I think the Honda Ridgeline is engineered well enough to truly be a good solid homeowner or light commercial vehicle (although they also do not offer truly long bed (7-8 foot models). With today’s technology I think the Ridgeline is A-OK for the homeowner and the front wheel drive setup also makes sense for someone using the vehicle for light work yet still actually working with it!