DEARBORN, MI - A specialized stealth concept version of Ford's Police Interceptor debuts at the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) trade show in Las Vegas and is on display throughout the show, which ends Nov. 5.

Using the strong lines and muscular stance of the Ford Police Interceptor sedan as a base, Ford designer Melvin Betancourt developed a customized undercover stealth version. Betancourt used imagery of the SR-71, the original stealth airplane revealed in the '60s, for inspiration as he customized the vehicle, according to Ford.

Betancourt started the undercover version by lowering the body and giving the illusion of added width. The body was lowered an inch, and the special 22-inch wheels are inside a staggered rim section, so the front is 3 inches and the rear is 3.5 inches. 

The rim section is stacked to create the illusion of greater width, he said. The center of the wheel is glossy black, and the rim is chrome.

The exterior of the Police Interceptor stealth vehicle is solid black. The grille is mesh, like the original sedan, but the metal is thicker, offering more depth. The lights on the car are designed to be inconspicuous, with the surrounding area painted black so they blend in until illuminated.  

The back of the vehicle was given an aggressive spoiler adorned with bead lights painted black so they remain unnoticed until the car is started. The taillights are smoked, the windows tinted.  

Unless you're supposed to be in the vehicle, you won't know where and how to find the compartments, Betancourt said. For example, the radio is hidden inside the console, as is an onboard computer. Also, the glove box has a secret space designed for weapons.  

The Police Interceptor sedan was introduced in March, followed by a utility version in September. Both Interceptors will debut simultaneously when production of the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor ceases in late 2011. 

The production Police Interceptor sedan model offers two powertrain options, allowing police to choose the engine that best meets their needs.  

A 3.5L V-6 engine delivering at least 280 hp, and E-85 compatibility is 25 percent more efficient than the 4.6L single-overhead-cam V-8 offered in the current Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. And an all-new 3.5L twin-turbocharged, direct-injection EcoBoost V-6 engine will deliver at least 365 hp and 350 lb.-ft. of torque across a broad rpm range.

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