Category Archives: Officer Matt

Look Behind You! The Flashing Lights?

What Is An Officer of the Law Driving Today?

Queer4Cars 2020 Ford Explorer Utility Police Interceptor Model YouTube Video

Cop Cars

2020 Ford Police Interceptor Explorer Utility VehicleJust when you thought you had gotten used to spotting police cruiser headlights in your rearview mirror, Ford is changing the game again! With the introduction of the completely redesigned 2020, Ford Explorer comes the police equivalent: the Explorer Utility Interceptor. Ford is stepping away from selling sedans in the USA and focusing on SUV and trucks. With this comes the SUV for police duty, which many departments have already in their fleets.

What’s New

2020 Frod Police Interceptor UtilityFord has really upped their game when it comes to the new Interceptor. One of the most significant changes, besides the entire vehicle, is the shift from front wheel to rear-wheel biased all-wheel drive. Instead of being pulled around, you now are pushed town in the 2020 Explorer. The 2020 Ford Explorers Utility Interceptor comes standard with all-wheel drive and a whole host of other goodies that the general public does not get in a regular consumer edition Ford Explorer.

The new Interceptor now comes in 3 different engine versions. The first is a regular 3.3 liter naturally aspirated V6 engine. The next step up, and the one Ford really put their heads into is a 3.3-liter non-plug-in hybrid version. The third and final option is their 3.0 liter EcoBoost engine.

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid BatteryFord has put a lot of focus on the hybrid in a push to make not only Police Interceptors but all of its fleet Green.  The image of being more environmentally friendly is an essential part of today’s market. This new hybrid is run off a lithium-ion battery pack that is the size of a small suitcase and stored in the front half of the vehicle not reducing any interior storage space. This hybrid engine is a game changer and more so for police departments. The hybrid uses the battery pack to run the vehicle for 80% of the time. When the battery charge drops below 30%, the gas engine kicks in and takes about 2 minutes to recharge the battery to full capacity. This significantly reduces the amount of idle time for the gas engine. In turn, this reduced idle time substantially reduces the amount of fuel used and emissions from the vehicle.

Value Driven

Ford Interceptor Utility BenefitsWhat citizen wouldn’t like to see their local and state police departments saving money, thus freeing it up to focus more on training or more safety? Where hybrid vehicle technology will impact will be in municipalities fuel and vehicle maintenance budgets. While hybrids initial purchase cost is indeed higher, that can be made up in just fuel cost savings alone. Not to mention that hybrids can go longer between oil changes as the engines aren’t always running or as is often the case, idling, and between the brake pad and rotor changes due to the regenerative braking technology.

2020 Ford Interceptor Utility BenefitsThe 2020 Explorer Utility comes standard with Bluetooth® hands-free connectivity. Which is a good idea, as we know it is illegal in many states to use a handheld device while operating a motor vehicle. And no one wants Officers’ breaking the law by using their phones while driving.

 

Only On A Cop Car

Ford Explorer Utility Police Interceptor weleded Steel Crash FrameThe Interceptor Utility is fitted with a welded steel under-carriage device giving it a 75mph rear crash test rating.  Plus a stiffer suspension, larger heavy duty brakes, cooling system, and alternator that is needed to run the gamut of electronics police use in their vehicle.

Ford Factory Installed Police Perimeter Alert for Interceptor VehiclesFord has developed and offers on its Interceptor vehicles a factory-installed Police safety perimeter alarm that uses the blind spot monitoring system and a dashboard display to detect any threats moving towards or away from the rear of the vehicle.  Alerting the officer with an audible tone, rolling up the windows, locking the doors and activating the Ford Explorer Utility Police Interceptor Bullit Proof Door Padrearview camera. Ford also has ballistic panels as on option for inserts in the front doors to further protect officers from armed assailants.

 

 

 

Overall

2020 Ford Explorer Utility Police Interceptor VehicleAfter test driving each of the 2020 Ford Explorer Utility powertrains available on a police emergency vehicles operations course, it is abundantly clear these are the smart choice for police departments. Start looking in your rearview mirror for a new police Interceptor starting later this year. And remember to pull over when you see those flashing lights. While they are not after you, they may be on the way to assist someone that is important to you or someone else who is in need.

 

Words by Corporal Matthew Rihl,
Photos by William West Hopper
Officer Matt in the Cockpit of a Connie

Corporal Matthew Rihl is a Field Training Officer and member of the Honor Guard with a local Virginia police department.

Corporal Matthew Rihl has served the public for 15-years with a local county police department in Virginia. In addition, he is also a Field Training Officer and a member of the Honor Guard. Officer Matt is a vital member of the LGBT Fallen Heroes Fund, which its sole purpose is to honor surviving partners and family members of LGBT police, fire, EMS and the military who have been killed in the line of duty during a special ceremony during National Police Memorial Week every year in Washington, DC.

 

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Officer Matt, Pulls Over To Test New Autos

5/16/2019 – 2019 Spring Brake  –  Bear Mountain State Park, Bear Mountain, New York.

Automotive Rally Tents

Upon arrival, approximately 50 different vehicles were grouped by manufacturer. Prior to arrival, I surveyed the list of cars and formulated a plan that would maximize my time to test drive as many vehicles as I could by 1530.

 

 

Officer Matt and the 2019 Acura NSXThe first vehicle driven was Acura’s NSX. Luckily, my teammate had secured a reservation to be the first test driver of this $190K Supercar. By far the most anticipated drive of the day and the NSX did not disappoint.  The sheer power of the car and its ability to stick to the road like glue was absolutely amazing, producing goosebumps on my arms and chills down my spine. The fit and finish were very luxurious. The seats and steering wheel felt as if they were designed specifically for me. The exterior was a statement of beauty with artfully designed curves and creases precisely where they needed to be placed as if Michelangelo himself designed the shell. Everywhere you drove, heads turned to look and listen.

 

2019 GMC Sierra Denali Pickup Truck climing a gravel hill
2019 GMC Sierra Denali Pickup Truck is almost too pretty to take offroad.

The rest of the day was spent testing vehicles ranging from compact sedans to full-size trucks. A notable appearance was the GMC Sierra Denali 1500. As luxurious and useful as a truck could be, it fell short when compared to similar trucks in its class due to the lack of adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist. The “revolutionary” new tailgate was cumbersome to use after spending ten minutes trying to figure it out.

 

Red 2019 Acura TLX A-Spec
2019 Acura TLX A-Spec made on the same production line as the NSX.

Another vehicle that got my attention was the Acura TLX A-Spec with SH-AWD. This upscale sport sedan had never even registered on my radar as a vehicle that would impress me. Boy, was I ever wrong, as soon as I stepped into the vehicle, the interior design was subtle yet sporty and luxurious all at the same time. Every button and switch was placed exactly where it needed to be. The operating system was incredibly easy to figure out. The sound system was incredible when compared to other

2019 Acura TLX A-Spec Dash
Acura TLX Interior every button and switch was placed exactly where it needed to be.

higher-end luxury vehicles. The mix of leather and suede on the heated and cooled seats, perfectly proportioned. Outside, the pearl coat of burgundy paint complemented the aggressive exterior styling cues perfectly. To finish off, the exterior was a gorgeous set of black rims. I kept finding myself wandering back to the TLX throughout the day, admiring it. At a price of just around $44K for a fully optioned top of the line, model forced me to see how affordable and attainable the Acura really is. I found myself smiling not only while behind the wheel, and even now, each time I think of it.

 

Genesis G90 Parked in front of a rock face
Genesis G90 a worthy competitor to the Mercedes-Benz S class and BMW 7 series.

 

Genesis G90 rear seat controls provide access to the entire entertainment system, climate control, navigation, and audio system.
Genesis G90 rear seat controls provide access to the entire entertainment system, climate control, navigation, and audio system.

The final vehicle that commanded my attention was the Genesis G90. A worthy competitor to the Mercedes-Benz S class and BMW 7 series. Sliding into the rear seat is like entering a private jet. The G90 is a vehicle to be driven around in, not just drive.  Rear seat controls provide access to the entire entertainment system, climate control, navigation, and audio system.  With heated and cooled rear seats, the only thing missing was a massage function. The rear passenger seat had a single button that would turn the seat into a fully functioning lounger, sliding the front seat all the way forward and down towards the dash to allow the rear occupant to stretch out. Feeling as if you were enveloped in an incredibly soft sofa and could easily take a nap.

 

 

Genesis G90 Dash view from rear seat.
Genesis G90 provides a multitude of driving assistance options, and they are phenomenal.

The G90 driver experience was just as luxurious, minus the rear passenger lounge seat. With a quick and responsive engine propelling the car forward from a dead stop to 60mph with barely an effort, and with minimal noise. Genesis provides a multitude of driving assistance options, and they are phenomenal. The lane keep assist and nearly autonomous driving assistant made driving even on twisty mountain roads a breeze.

 

 

Rear of the Genesis G90
Classic Design makes the Genesis G90 a worthy competitor.

At the cost of almost $20,000 to $30,000 below what one would pay for a comparable S Class or 7 Series. The only reason I can think of why wouldn’t you want a G90 before one of its competitors would be the brand badge bragging rights. Perhaps it was wise of Genesis to distance their flagship vehicle from the Hyundai line, creating a new image to compete with Mercedes and BMW.

 

Reflecting on a day driving more than 25 vehicles, this was my first automotive journalist rally,  and for me, it was a resounding success.

Words by Corporal Matthew Rihl,
Photos by William West Hopper
Corporal Matthew Rihl is a Field Training Officer and member of the Honor Guard with a local Virginia police department in Virginia.
Corporal Matthew Rihl is a Field Training Officer and member of the Honor Guard with a local Virginia police department.
Corporal Matthew Rihl has served the public for 15-years with a local county police department in Virginia. In addition, he is also a Field Training Officer and a member of the Honor Guard. Officer Matt is a vital member of the LGBT Fallen Heroes Fund, which its sole purpose is to honor surviving partners and family members of LGBT police, fire, EMS and the military who have been killed in the line of duty during a special ceremony during National Police Memorial Week every year in Washington, DC.

 

Spring Brake is put on by the International Motor Press Association for professional automotive journalist members, offering them the chance to experience many different vehicles in one day. Membership and an entry fee are required to participate. Neither Matthew nor William were compensated for their time or reviews of any automobiles.