What can go 130 mph and jump an 8-inch curb? Greenwich police unveil new hybrid patrol car

GREENWICH — Say hello to Greenwich Police Patrol Car No. 55, one of the newest cars in the department’s fleet, offering advanced energy efficiency, more room and additional safety features for the officers who drive it.

The new hybrid vehicle has began patrol work in the past few weeks, one of four to hit the streets this year. The Greenwich department, an early adapter in the field, has already begun receiving inquiries from other departments in the region on what the hybrids offer, said Officer Matthew Swift, an automotive specialist in the department.

The main difference with the four new patrol cars, beside a new graphic design that sets them apart from the department’s wholly gas-powered cars, is the hybrid engine. A battery-powered engine is paired with a traditional gas-powered engine, a Ford 3.3 Liter V-6. The battery unit goes into operation when the car is idling — powering the onboard systems — while saving gas and wear and tear on the engine.

The new units are similar to the other gas-powered Ford Explorers in service. They both have an upgraded braking system and sturdier suspension designed for police work.

The main difference can be hard to tell — they don’t make a sound when they idle.

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