The new turbocharged Ford Taurus modified into its Police Interceptor sedan proved faster than Chevrolet Caprice V-8 and Dodge Charger with a Hemi V-8 in tests by the Michigan State Police, according to Ford.

Ford's turbocharged police version of the Explorer crossover SUV was faster than a Chevrolet Tahoe.

"Agencies tell us if the bad guys see the police vehicle quickly close in pursuit, they're less likely to try to run,"

says Bill Gubing, a Ford chief engineer, in a statement. "If this can help reduce the number of high-speed chases, then we could improve public safety on our nation's roads."

The Ford Taurus for police, with an EcoBoost turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive, rocketed from zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.66 seconds. That compares to 6.04 seconds for the 5.7-liter Hemi-equipped Dodge Charger and 6.01 seconds in the Chevrolet Caprice with a 6-liter V-8.

The Ford EcoBoost-powered sedan also topped the 6.0-liter V8-equipped Chevrolet Caprice, which clocked a 6.01-second 0-60 mph time. In acceleration to 100 mph, the Ford was 1.2 seconds faster than Charger and 0.8 seconds faster than Caprice.

The tests are important to the three automakers because the substantial market for police cars still remains, basically, up for grabs. It had been previously dominated by Ford's Crown Victoria, but that model is now out of production. Each of the three replacement models from the three makers each has their advantages and drawbacks.

Ford has staked a lot on its turbocharged engines for police, making the case they are economical in everyday use, but powerful in emergency situations.

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