2021 Ford F-150 Police Responder Gets Higher Top Speed, Auto 4×4

The only pursuit-rated police pickup on the market also gets a restyling for the new year.

The pursuit-rated Ford F-150 Police Responder first arrived in 2017 and law enforcement agencies around North America swiftly adopted it, keen on its off-road and towing capability. Now, a new version of the Police Responder, based on the 2021 F-150, is on the way. With a higher top speed and an automatic four-wheel-drive setting for its transfer case, the 2021 Police Responder should be more adaptable to a variety of patrol situations.

The 2021 F-150 pursuit vehicle now has a top speed of 120 miles per hour (197 kilometers per hour), up from 100 mph (161 km/h) on the outgoing Police Responder. A buck twenty might not sound like much – most modern midsize sedans can hit that speed, to say nothing of headline-grabbing sports cars and exotics – but it should still be enough for the majority of freeway pursuits. The 2021 Police Responder also adds the same torque-on-demand transfer case as the Raptor, with an automatic four-wheel-drive setting that will add traction and convenience in nasty weather or when the pursuit goes through varied terrain.

Go-Go Po-Po

The Police Responder pickup has one helluva powertrain that enables that performance. A 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 comes standard, with 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet (298 kilowatts and 678 newton-meters) heading to the wheels via a 10-speed automatic gearbox. That’s up over the old pickup’s 375 hp and 470 lb-ft (280 kW and 637 Nm). Like its predecessor, the 2021 F-150 Police Responder gets the FX4 off-road package, but Ford opted for a revised all-terrain tire on the new truck. The Blue Oval claims the new Goodyear Wrangler Enforcer rubber can withstand sustained driving at that new top speed without sacrificing off-road traction.

The F-150 Police Responder also gets a few cool tech upgrades unique to the law enforcement vehicle. Although it comes standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, there’s a button high on the dash that temporarily deactivates the system for close pursuits and pit maneuvers. A special engine-idle feature allows the driver to remove the ignition key and lock the doors without cutting power to the lights and siren, if need be. And cloud-connected Sync 4 infotainment comes standard, bringing over-the-air updates to the pickup.

The Same, But Different

Like other Ford law enforcement vehicles, the F-150 Police Responder comes with revised seat bolsters for easier entry and exit when wearing protective gear, and its darker interior color will withstand daily abuse better as well. A center console delete makes space for a variety of upfits, which Ford will happily help arrange. A standard towing capacity of 7,000 pounds and available cap of 11,000 pounds join a payload rating of 2,030 pounds, more than enough for most regular law enforcement activities.

Like its immediate predecessor, the 2021 Ford F-150 Police Responder should offer the kind of versatile, on- and off-road performance that many rural and backcountry government agencies need. It’s made better by a few technological improvements, but as we learned in our time with the civilian F-150, it’s still likely the same basic goodness overall, repackaged with modern features and styling. The 2021 F-150 Police Responder will be built at the Kansas City Assembly Plant and arrives in fleets this fall.

Gallery: 2021 Ford F-150 Police Responder






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