It’s every hybrid car’s law-enforcing big brother
Being the first worldwide-promoted, mainstream hybrid, the Prius was also a favorite subject of Internet memes.
In addition, it created an anti-Prius (and later anti-hybrid) movement among coal-burning fanatics, who resorted to bumper stickers with messages like "Prius Repellent", "My Truck Burns The Gas Your Prius Saves", or just "Your Prius Sucks." The Prius was the world's first hybrid martyr, and it looked like justice would never be served to make things right in the hybrid-car world.
Enter the Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan, a gas and battery-propelled Ford Fusion ready for action. And when we say "action," we mean it — the Hybrid Sedan passed the tests designated for pursuit cars, so it's quick and tough enough to chase bad guys. The measure is, of course, environmentally-motivated and, most probably, due to the high running costs of its predecessors, including the good old V8-powered Ford Crown Victoria.
The Taurus-based Police Responder downgraded to a 3.7-liter V6, but Ford thought it could do even better. So the Fusion hybrid Responder claims it can double the fuel returns, to 38 mpg in mixed cycle. It uses the same powertrain as the "civilian" model, with the sole difference that the police car's powertrain can run in EV mode at speeds up to 60 mph. And the battery is not just for the sake of a better consumption — the electric motor can engage to maximize the car's performance in the case of a pursuit.
Ford will debut the cars in the NYPD and LAPD, two of the biggest police departments in the US.
P.S.: We've driven the Ford Fusion's European brother, the Mondeo, in the Vignale hybrid guise. If the Police Responder is anything like that… we'd probably bet on the bad guy with a V8 under the hood.