Images: Ford

The cop-spec Ford Explorer, known as the Interceptor Utility, has become one of the most popular cop cars for departments across the country. Unfortunatley that means some of them get in the line of fire, so Ford is adding optional doors they say can withstand armor piercing bullets. Want to see if they work?

Obviously, the do work or Ford wouldn’t have posted this video of the test. But it’s pretty impressive to see a cruiser suck up shots from pistols, rifles and shotguns.

The armored doors are basically made up of two key layers. The external plane (strike face) is ballistic tile which breaks up incoming bullets. Below that is a resilient polymer called aramid fiber which keeps shrapnel from making it into the vehicle’s passenger area.

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Ford says the Explorer body’s big doors means officers get 20% more armor coverage area.

The company has already offered “Type III” ballistic protection for cop cars, which can withstand “up to .30 caliber (specifically up to 7.62mm x 51mm NATO M80 ball ammunition) as well as special threat rounds identified by the Los Angeles Police Department,” as they explained in a press release.

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These new Type IV panels can stand up to similar types of weapons, but with armor-piercing rounds. The Department Of Justice has a big briefing on all types of armor which you can read if you want to go deeper.

I dropped Ford a line to see what kind of weight these doors would add over, say, your mom’s grocery-getting Explorer but haven’t heard back yet. As for how many cops actually need armor-piercing protection, the company just posits “while the number of shootouts between police and criminals using high-powered, armor-piercing rifle ammunition is low, they are unfortunately becoming more common.”

Stay safe out there, guys. But if you have to run toward the sound of shit going down, maybe take the Type IV armor.


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.