Finally, during the ride-along portion of the event, Twombly says he was impressed by the SUV's handling abilities. "I was rather skeptical because of my experience with SUVs in the past," he adds. "But the ride surprised me." Most participants were only invited to ride in the passenger seat through the snake-maneuver-lined course. While Twombly found the passenger ride helpful as a preview of the capabilities, he's still interested in what the behind-the-wheel experience will hold.
"We're all facing the same problem right now, which is budget," Twombly says. That means even if the Interceptor II is the most wonderful ride out there, if the price is too high and it doesn't fit into the state's budget, it's out. While Teed says no price information is available for release at present, law enforcement can rest assured the cost for the new models will be comparable to the CVPI. She says she's hearing some confusion on this level, and explains that because Ford is a large manufacturing operation, it is able to bring the pricing down to the point where it's at the value of the former Crown Victoria Police Interceptor because it does not have to pass through research and development costs like smaller or more niche vendors may need to. "We are fortunate that we can actually live within the same zone of the CVPI pricing." Teed says.
Editor's notes: Check out video of the new ride at Officer.com including passenger-side footage from the closed-course drive event. Visit tinyurl.com/FordPUV.
Kicking off in 2011, the company will be working through account managers to set up invites for various agencies to get their hands on the wheel and experience the new vehicles. Interested parties should get in touch with regional Ford reps for drive opportunities or visit Ford's Web site.