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Ford F-150 beefed up for municipal use

Mon, 11 Jun 2012 00:00:00 -0700

The Ford F-150 joins the likes of the Taurus and the Explorer in offering a package aimed specifically at those who protect and serve.

While the Police Interceptor versions of the Explorer and the Taurus are being marketed strictly to law-enforcement agencies, the F-150 Special Service Vehicle is available to all government, municipal and commercial fleet customers.

The SSV Package will be available as a no-cost option on both extended-cab and crew-cab F-150s sold to fleets. Power will come from either the 5.0-liter V8 or the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. Like all F-150s, a six-speed automatic is the only transmission option.

SSVs also come standard with a high-capacity 220-amp alternator to better cope with the demands of aftermarket add-ons such as auxiliary lights and communications gear.

Specific to the SSV package is a front-seat configuration similar to that found in the Police Interceptor, using a 40/20/40 setup. The center section of the seat and the center console will be omitted to allow for mounting of various aftermarket gadgets.

The driver and front-passenger seats will be upholstered in what Ford describes as “easily cleaned cloth,” but given the life that these vehicles tend to lead, expect that cloth to be pretty grungy by the time any F-150 SSV reaches a municipal auction near you. Work crews or miscreants who find themselves in the back of an F-150 SSV will be sitting on vinyl.

Four-wheel drive is an option, as are the other extras normally available to fleet customers, such as heavy-duty tires and skid plates.

Ford expects the F-150 SSV's main customers to be government fleets but is making the SSV package available to all commercial buyers.

By Seth Harrison