Checker did it with taxi cabs a generation and a half ago, but since then, purpose-built working cars haven't been produced in mass quantities. Carbon Motors thinks it's about time the fuzz get their own purpose-built ride, instead of being forced to modify a civilian car. Law enforcement agencies have kept Ford's Panther platform alive long past its expiration date, but even that is winding down. Carbon's E7 looks to step in and fill the niche that the eventual phasing out of the Panther will provide (nevermind that there's been some adoption of the even tighter quarters of the Chrysler LX cars). Police need cars that are tough and economical to run and maintain. With those criteria, it's easy to see why the Crown Victoria is the Queen of fleet. They take a pounding, they're relatively cheap, and they're big enough to hold the constabulary essentials and leave room for perps, even if there's precious little elbow room for Officer Krupke.

Carbon's got to make a case for a niche application, limited production vehicle with some expensive hardware. A twin-turbo diesel inline six is not as cheap a power unit as Ford's long-serving and robust (let's not talk about valve guides and seals, please) modular V8. The aluminum spaceframe that Carbon designed as the basis of the E7 is also not cheap, but the tradeoff for the high cost componentry is a 250,000 mile durability spec. By the time Crown Vics reach that kind of mileage, they're no longer cruisers - usually having long been handed down to less demanding city departments. The car looks like vaporware currently, though there's plenty of CG eye candy at the Carbon Motors website for dreamers to feast upon. Hey, fire trucks are manufactured by niche producers that charge a bundle for vehicles that serve forever, and it could make sense for police departments, too. It all comes down to how durable the cars actually are, how expensive they are to run and maintain, and how much the initial cost is. You know, just a few minor numbers to run.

[Source: Carbon Motors via Paul Tan]

Related GalleryCarbon Motors E7 police car


SELECTED FEATURES AND OPTIONS

- All-new purpose-built vehicle platform exclusively for law enforcement
- Meets or exceeds all regulatory requirements
- Designed for 250,000 mile durability specification
- Turn-key built-to-direct-order
- 24/7/365 call center support
- Improved end-of-vehicle-life process
- Comprehensive warranty
- Aluminum spaceframe body structure
- 75 mile per hour rear crash capability
- Cockpit with fully-integrated factory fitted law enforcement equipment
- Integrated emergency lights, spot lights, take down lights, directional stick
- Segment exclusive coach rear doors (safer suspect insertion / removal)
- Vehicle dynamic control
- Anti-lock brakes
- Optimized approach / departure angles and ground clearance
- NIJ Level III-A (or better) ballistic protection (front doors / dash panel)
- Purpose-designed seat for use with on-body equipment
- Heated and ventilated seats
- Heads up display
- Reverse backup camera
- Driver specific intelligent key
- 360 degree exterior surveillance capability
- Automatic license plate recognition system
- Video and audio surveillance of rear passenger compartment
- 130hz - 350hz bass siren
- Nightvision compliant interior illumination
- Integrated forward looking infrared system (FLIR)
- Integrated shotgun mounts
- Optimized storage capability (compartment and cargo)
- Integrated front and rear passenger compartment partition
- Hoseable rear passenger compartment
- Integrated push bumpers and PIT capability