Ford Explorer is the fastest police car sold today, per MSP testing

2022 Ford Police Interceptor Utility can accelerate to 60 mph in under 5.5 seconds

Photo of Angela Mulka
Pictured is the 2022 Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid, the fastest police vehicle available.

Pictured is the 2022 Ford Police Interceptor Utility Hybrid, the fastest police vehicle available.

Photo provided/Michigan State Police

To help police departments nationwide decide which vehicles best fit their needs, the Michigan State Police tests new police vehicles each year on Grattan Raceway in southwestern Michigan, and for 2021, troopers tested four motorcycles and 10 different vehicles. 

Although the law enforcement profession is far more dynamic than just high-speed emergency responses, many departments require their vehicles to meet what’s called a "purchasing spec." Vehicles must meet certain requirements to be eligible for patrol but still have enough performance to be effective when responding to more dangerous situations, according to reporting by Car and Driver.

The MSP published its preliminary results from its testing and the all-wheel-drive 2022 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, with its 400-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, remains the quickest police vehicle sold today.

The 2022 Ford Police Interceptor Utility reaches 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and 100 mph in 13.4 seconds. The vehicle is a version of the Ford Explorer and got to its top speed of 148 mph (also the highest of the vehicles tested) in 1.6 miles.

Although that's not as quick as the Wrangler 392, its 36-mph deficit in top speed would allow the Explorer to catch up to it. The EcoBoost Ford Police Interceptor Utility was also 0.7 second quicker to 60 mph and 0.6 second quicker to 100 mph than the 380-hp Dodge Charger Pursuit rear-wheel-drive V-8 sedan.

Additionally, MSP told Car and Driver that it expects more fully electric police vehicles next year, as automakers continue to focus their efforts on a battery-powered future.

Interestingly, the Mustang Mach-E police protype hit 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and 100 mph in 11.9 seconds, but the electric police car isn't available to purchase at this time. However, testing uncovered an anticipated issue from electric vehicles used for pursuit. After 18 laps around the track, the police protype lost 30% of its charge.

MSP research included a series of track tests including acceleration, top speed, distance to top speed, braking and lap times to make performance comparisons. The MSP began testing patrol cars in the 1950s, according to its site.

A more in-depth look at the MSP's testing data for 2021 is expected to be available by the end of October.