The Interceptor used the standard TIE cockpit, drive pod, and wing braces. The solar collector panels had been elongated and bent, providing extra power while not limiting the pilot's field of vision. The solar panels appeared to be "dragged-shaped," making the Interceptor far more intimidating while giving it a smaller profile, making it harder for opposing gunners to target. The TIE Interceptor had more powerful drives than does the TIE/LN and was almost as fast as the Alliance's A-Wing fighter; it was faster than any other fighter in production.
The TIE Interceptor used an advanced type of ion-stream projector that allowed pilots to execute tight turns and rolls. Twin-port deflectors could be manipulated individually for fine control and counterbalancing, making the TIE Interceptor a superior choice for dogfights. With a skilled pilot behind the controls, the TIE Interceptor could literally fly circles around X-Wing starfighters.
For weaponry, the Interceptor had four laser cannons, one at the end of each solar panel. Advanced targeting software gave the pilot grater fire accuracy even during complex maneuvers. While the Interceptor did not have a pair of laser cannons below the pilot's compartment, the cannon hardpoint was still in place and additional cannons could be mounted there if technicians could find the room for additional power generators.
Like other TIE Fighters, the TIE Interceptor had little armor plating and no shield generators, which made it an easy target to destroy by enemy fire. Interceptor pilots relied on the ship's maneuverability and no superiority of numbers to survive engagements with better armed and armored fighters.
Every effort had been to save weight on the TIE Interceptor. There were no life support systems, so pilots still had to use fully sealed flight suits. The Interceptor had no hyperdrive and required a large capital ship to serve as a base of operations. TIE Interceptors were primarily deployed from Star Destroyers or key star bases.