Ford Police Interceptor at SEMA
4th November, 2010
- Ford to debut the ultimate stealth Police Interceptor at SEMA – a customised concept of its
all-new Police Interceptor sedan
- Revamped grille, lighting, exhaust and interior provide a sleek, yet slightly sinister look
designed to blend 'muscle' with mystery
- Designer drew inspiration from the SR-71 Blackbird, the original stealth airplane revealed in
the ’60s and considered by some aviation observers to be the ultimate aircraft
Sleek, streamlined and slightly sinister, a specialised stealth concept version of Ford’s Police
Interceptor made its debut at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) trade show in Las
Vegas this week.
Using the strong lines and 'muscular' stance of the Ford Police Interceptor sedan as a base,
Ford designer Melvin Betancourt developed a customised undercover stealth version that’s both
stylish and full of high-tech surprises.
“This car offered the perfect canvas for me as a designer,” Betancourt said. “The
Police Interceptor sedan is already a unique vehicle. I just started looking at ways to give it
that mysterious but high-tech look.”
The Police Interceptor sedan was introduced in March, followed by a utility version in
September (both are intended for the North American police vehicle market). Both Interceptors will
debut simultaneously when production of the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor ceases in late
The stealth concept vehicle will be on display throughout the SEMA show, from 2nd-5th
November in Las Vegas USA.
Betancourt started the undercover version by lowering the body and giving the illusion of added
width. The body was lowered an inch, and the special 22-inch wheels are inside a staggered rim
section so the front is 3 inches and the rear is 3.5 inches.
“The rim section is stacked to give it the illusion of greater width,” he said. “The
centre of the wheel is glossy black, and the rim is chrome. So we have that racy, hot rod look,
but at the same time we’re building a sinister, stealthy, ‘Don’t mess with me’ feeling.”
Top-secret airplane provides inspiration
Betancourt used imagery of the SR-71, the original stealth airplane, for inspiration as he
customised the vehicle. Known as the “Blackbird,” this high-altitude, long-range reconnaissance
aircraft was secretly designed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Its top speed was more than
three times the speed of sound. Now retired, the Blackbird is considered by some aviation
enthusiasts as the ultimate airplane.
Betancourt kept in mind the Blackbird’s iconic imagery and status as he considered the elements
of his own stealth project. “When you think stealth, you think, ‘there, but not there.’ This is
all about strength, secrecy and concealment.”
The exterior of the Police Interceptor stealth vehicle is solid black. The grille is mesh, like
the original sedan, but the metal is thicker, offering more depth. The lights on the car are
designed to be inconspicuous, with the surrounding area painted black so they blend in until
The back of the vehicle was given an aggressive spoiler adorned with bead lights painted black
so they remain unnoticed until the car is started. The taillights are smoked, the windows
It’s a vehicle that exudes power – and it should. The production Police Interceptor sedan
model offers two powertrain options, allowing police to choose the engine that best meets their
A 3.5-litre V6 engine delivering at least 280 horsepower and E85 compatibility is 25 per cent
more efficient than the 4.6-litre single-overhead-cam V8 offered in the current Ford Crown Victoria
Police Interceptor. And an all-new 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged, direct-injection EcoBoost™ V6
engine will deliver at least 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque across a broad rpm range.
That strength complements the mystery inside the revamped interior of the stealth version.
“It’s all about concealing everything,” Betancourt said. “The headliner is black, we
wrapped the B-pillars in black, and then we started looking at, ‘Where can I hide this? How can I
conceal this?’ We repackaged the console – it looks like a production console with the waterfall
of the instrument panel. But when you start opening doors and panels, that’s when you see
Unless you’re supposed to be in the vehicle, you won’t know where and how to find the
compartments, he said. For example, the radio is hidden inside the console, as is an onboard
computer. Also, the glove box has a secret space designed for weapons.
Betancourt anticipates visitors to SEMA will immediately sense the uniqueness of the car.
“Right away, they’ll see this vehicle that looks different, that looks sinister – but they
won’t know exactly why. Then, as they get closer, they’ll start to see all of these touches that
work together to create the overall image.”