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Monday, May 8, 2017

Motormax 1:24 2015 Ford Police Interceptor Utility



Police cars are a hot commodity in the diecast market no doubt thanks to the image of the police in a positive perspective public view and the countless different department variations that is right up there with NASCAR stock models.  The latest entry after the Taurus-based Police Interceptor is the Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility.  Let's see how the new Motormax casting stacks up.







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Police cars have always been big four-door sedans in the U.S. for decades, but when Chevrolet discontinued the Caprice in 1996 they offered the Tahoe SUV as an alternative.  Problem is most police departments hated this idea because SUV's were not as quick or swift to hide as a sedan, so only a small fraction was purchased.  As SUV's started to get more popular and more car-like the need of SUV's for police departments are growing, especially those in the snow belt who need all-wheel drive.  Ford answers that question with the Explorer-based Utility Police Interceptor.  It's no sweat as the Explorer is based on the same platform as the Taurus, the Interceptor sedan, so a Police version is a no-brainer.  Surprisingly it is very popular with police departments and preferred over the Interceptor sedan.  The interior loses the console and shifter and gains a column-mounted shifter, along with additional slots for the necessary police gear.  The rear seat lacks floor carpeting and an optional bull bar just behind the front seats and also behind the rear seat where officers can carry additional gear in the back.  The engine's are the same as offered on the Interceptor sedan, with the most powerful one being the 3.5L DOHC turbocharged EcoBoost V6 that produces 365 horsepower through a six-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive.  The Utility was facelifted for 2016 to coincide with the Explorer.






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Let's just say that Motormax has an interesting opportunity here to have a nicely-detailed Ford Explorer as a civilian 1:18 and police 1:24, but they failed at all accounts.  More on that later.  The version I picked up is the 1:24 scale California Highway Patrol truck and it looks pretty good in black and white.  The front has projecter headlights with signal lights just above in a blacked-out frame with the Ford grille hiding behind the push bar bumper.  On the sides is a typical Explorer profile with clear roof flashers and spotlights on each A-pillar that lack the lens details (I added them myself).  The 5-spoke steel wheels are black and have the silver center cap for a more realistic look.  The rear has L-shaped taillights with silver inner lenses, dual exhausts in silver, and CHP decals.  So far, so good.  The underside shows off the drivetrain and the dual exhaust system.  Basic, but good nonetheless for this price range.






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The problem starts that it has no opening hood or rear hatch.  Ok, but then you get to opening the front doors and notice how light they are: the doors are plastic instead of metal on the outside!  Then you start to question if there's anything past the front seats inside as the rear windows are so heavidly tinted that they are blacked instead of smoked.  Well to answer the last issue area there is something in the back as I had to take the vehicle apart to add details inside.  There is a rear seat and a bull bar behind the front seats, but other than that it's pretty basic.  The front dashboard is typical Explorer look with 3-spoke steering wheel, detailed gauges, seating for two, and a nice large laptop in the center console.  Adding details here separates the sea of black.  Now here's the worst part aside from the cheap-out areas of this 1:24: the 1:18 has only opening doors and so-so details for a casting that is larger and cost way more than the 1:24.  Again Motormax had a good opportunity here, especially the 1:18 scale, but cost-cutting with fewer opening parts and details really hurts them in this execution.


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