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The Ford Mustang GT is needed to catch speeders, the police say

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While other automakers stop building cars with big V8 engines, Ford Motor Co.’s Mustang GT continues. the last man standing.

Police departments, who need the horsepower, have taken notice.

After years of placing orders for the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro, state police agencies in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina have confirmed they are adding the 2024 Mustang GT to their fleets. And they’re not the only law enforcement agencies doing this. Ford’s competitors no longer make these muscle cars.

“The police have found a good spot,” Erich Merkle, Ford’s U.S. sales analyst, told the USA TODAY Network’s Detroit Free Press. “We expect to see more sales as other companies have ceded this part of the industry.”

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Mustang GT sales are up 13% this year to 8,154 units through April, Merkle said. “The high-performance Mustang GT represents approximately 57% of our total Mustang mix so far this year,” he said.

The Mustang GT starts at $43,555 including destination charges. However, government agencies negotiate discounts based on bulk purchases.

Car performance and engineering are important to law enforcement agencies, and acceleration is really the key to doing the job, says Andrew Simmons, government sales manager for Ford, focused on the southeastern US.

“Most of these are used on highways,” Simmons told the Free Press. “Right now, we’re at a fever pitch in terms of interest. More than 50% of the customers I see are switching from other brands and coming to Ford to buy a Mustang.”

According to car and driver tests, the 2024 Mustang GT clocks in at:

  • 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds
  • Quarter mile: 12.2 seconds at 187 km/h
  • Top speed: 250 km/h

Slow down: Mustang GT heads to highways near you

“The Mustang has a faster 0-60 time and a higher top speed than the other patrol vehicles in our fleet,” Maj. David Bryant of the Georgia State Patrol told the Free Press. “Most of the new Mustangs will go to patrol stations covering the interstate system in Georgia.”

The Georgia State Patrol has hundreds of Dodge Chargers, 15 Dodge Challengers and 15 Camaros for high-speed pursuits, and now the agency is adding 15 Mustangs to the patrol fleet, Bryant said. That’s in addition to the Dodge Durango, Chevy Tahoe and Ford Explorer SUVs used by state troopers.

‘We need speed’

Georgia residents and tourists will spot these Mustang GT vehicles along US-341, Interstate 75 and I-16, Allen said.

The V8 engine meets the needs of law enforcement, he said. “Everything is getting faster. Vehicles we try to stop every day are getting faster and faster, from a Kia to a Mercedes. This is a way for us to keep up with the changes in the car market.”

Michigan State Police are changing their policy on high-speed pursuits

Speeding police are not without controversy. Regardless of highway speed limit enforcement, public and police policies in some states are changing to reflect safety concerns.

In March, Michigan State Police announced, effective immediately, a new policy that said officers may only initiate a pursuit if there is “probable cause to believe that the driver or occupant of the vehicle being pursued has committed a life-threatening or violent crime.” .

Police told the Free Press that judicious use of speed is part of their training.

In North Carolina, police officials view speed enforcement as crucial to reducing fatal collisions, Lt. Zeb Stroup of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol told the Free Press.

There were 354 fatal collisions involving speed in North Carolina last year, he said.

“That number represents a decrease of 7.1% from the previous year,” Stroup said. “We hope the addition of the Mustang will help continue our positive impact on our existing speed reduction efforts.”

In 2023, two North Carolina State Troopers made headlines for a crash that followed a high-speed chase. Based on an assessment of road safety data, accidents requiring pursuit have not occurred in recent years.

North Carolina troopers will receive special training on the powerful Mustang GT, Stroup said. And their speed is critical to doing the job effectively, he said.

North Carolina will use the Mustang GT vehicles in areas where speeding is a documented problem, Stroup said.

“They will be used primarily on the highway,” he said. “We know that at speeds above 120 km/h the risk of serious injury or death increases.”

Contact Phoebe Wall Howard: 313-618-1034 or [email protected]. Follow her on X, formerly known as Twitter @phoebesaid. Read more about Ford and sign up for our automotive newsletter.