Sooke RCMP Const. Sam Haldane with the Taurus Police Interceptor. This Taurus is one of several in the local detachment’s stable of pursuit vehicles.

HOT CAR: 2016 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor

Police Interceptor sits low, yet with enough width and height that you could even call it muscular and intimidating.

What is the only car on earth that is loved, hated, adored and feared, all at the same time? Yup. A police car.

If you’ve had the unfortunate pleasure of sitting in the back of one, or having one flashing red and blue in your rear view mirror, maybe “cool” is not how you’d describe a police cruiser.

When you see one up close though, it’s easy to see why they’re so special.

Take the 2016 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor, one of several currently in the Sooke RCMP garage. It sits low, like a predatorial feline, yet with enough width and height that you could even call it muscular and intimidating.

Officers such as Sooke RCMP Const. Sam Haldane looks beyond the aesthetics, after all, a police car is more than just a means of transportation and apprehension of bad guys; it’s an office, a place to rest, a place to eat, and a place to feel safe in.

Still, while she prefers the Explorer for her daily cruiser, she says the Taurus provides a more track feel, particularly during pursuits. It’s also easier to get in and out of quickly.

“I can maneuver this really well through my driver training, and I have no problem getting in and out effectively and efficiently,” Haldane said, adding that visibility out of the Taurus is much better than the old Crown Victoria Interceptor.

Inside, the Interceptor is laden with space-ship-like buttons and consoles, from a dash-mounted radar, to a mid-mounted computer, radio, and complete controls for the lights, sirens, strobes and spotlights, among other goodies.

There’s even directional LED lights that can signal traffic left or right without the officer having to leave the vehicle.

Also, here’s an option you don’t get in regular showrooms: two rear-mounted gun racks with direct access to a carbine rifle and shotgun.

Under the hood, it’s a more familiar story.

Gone is the ancient 4.6-litre Coyote V8, as Interceptors receive Ford’s venerable twin-cam, 290-horsepower 3.7-litre V6 as standard kit, while Pursuit Specials are silently equipped with the asphalt-twisting 365 horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 from the Taurus SHO. Both engines come bolted to a standard all-wheel-drive system.

One thing is for sure; as the P71 Crown Victoria Interceptor slowly slides into retirement, the Taurus, along with its big brother, the Explorer, will be patrolling the streets a lot more in the coming years.