Ford Kills Explorer Hybrid So It Can Keep Selling Hybrid Interceptor to Police

In a world where automakers are increasingly electrifying their lineups to cope with stricter emissions and fuel economy regulations, Ford is taking the opposite approach, albeit for a unique reason. The company has decided to stop selling the 2024 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator with the hybrid powertrain to regular customers, instead focusing on deliveries of the Police Interceptor Utility hybrid.

“To meet continued strong demand for the Ford Police Interceptor Utility hybrid and other Ford hybrid vehicles, the 2024 model year Explorer will only be offered with the fuel-efficient 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost, which offers up to an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined fuel economy, and the 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6,” Ford spokesperson Mike Levine told Green Car Reports.

Gallery: 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility

The Ford Police Interceptor Utility comes standard with a hybrid-assisted 3.3-liter V6 that makes a total of 318 horsepower and 322 pound-feet of torque. The powertrain lets officers run on-board equipment off the lithium-ion battery while the combustion engine is off. Ford touts this feature as being able to potentially saving police forces money by improving fuel economy and reducing the powerplant’s idle time.

Ford also offers the Police Interceptor Utility with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 making 400 hp or a naturally aspirated 3.3-liter V6 producing 285 horsepower.

With the hybrid option gone, buyers have two powertrain choices for the 2024 Explorer. The turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost offers 300 hp and 310 lb-ft. A twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 delivers 400 hp and 415 lb-ft. Meanwhile, 2024 Aviator customers now only get with the twin-turbo V6.

The Blue Oval doesn’t break out Explorer and Aviator sales by powertrain. Deliveries of the Ford-branded SUV are down 11.6 percent in the third quarter of 2023 over the same period last year. The Lincoln is down 42 percent in Q3. The company doesn’t release Police Interceptor Utility deliveries.

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