Carbon Motors seemed to be on track to produce its E7 purpose-built police car last year, but then the US Department of Energy rejected its request for a $310-million loan and the situation went south from there. The company filed for bankruptcy four months ago and had only produced one E7, a working prototype that isn't street-legal, and now it's up for auction, Indystar reports. Proceeds from the auction, which will be held by Indianapolis-based Key Auctioneers on Jan. 23, will go towards paying off the defunct automaker's private creditors.

It's being marketed to "very well moneyed car enthusiasts," the company reportedly said in court filings, and Carbon Motors' bankruptcy attorney says that late-night talk show host Jay Leno has expressed interest in the E7 (future Jay Leno's Garage subject?). But the company listed $21.7 million in liabilities in its Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, and the sale of the E7 likely won't come close to paying off the full amount.

The E7 was envisioned as the first purpose-built police car to be used in police departments nationwide. BMW, one of the private creditors to whom Carbon Motors owes money, was to supply the twin-turbocharged six-cylinder diesel engines. The timing was perfect because Ford discontinued the patrol stalwart Crown Victoria in 2012, which had become long in the tooth.

Before the E7 could be written into the history books, however, Translogic went for a spin in the car with Carbon Motors' co-founder Stacey Dean Stephens - and it's impressive, especially in light of potential safety issues with brand-new police vehicles.


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  • 23 Comments
      jonnybimmer
      • 1 Year Ago
      No surprise it never worked out. Assuming it worked as promised and the price was competitive (two of its biggest hurdles IMO) there's also the issue of maintaing these cars. Bespoke platform, unusual motor, and all without the part supplying power of a major automaker means there's a high risk police fleets will be stuck with cars in need of parts that are unavailable. If I were the one to decide what car to use, either cars from the D3 (which I know will be around to supply parts and at relatively low costs due to mass production) or from a unknown startup, I wouldn't even consider CM. Maybe after proving themselves with other fleets/in civilian market they'd be worth considering, but choosing to be some company's guinea pig using tax payer dollars is just setting yourself up for a bad, bad situation.
        b.rn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jonnybimmer
        If I recall, the cars would have been leased to departments, not sold. So they wouldn't be stuck with them. Like most such programs, I'm sure CM came up with some absurd ROI claims. I suspect most agencies saw through the claims.
          b.rn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @b.rn
          I take that back. You are correct. Leasing was part of the initial plan, but they later decided they were going to actually sell the vehicle.
      jz78817
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Carbon Motors seemed to be on track to produce its E7 purpose-built police car last year" only to very gullible people. Anyone who thought this thing would see the light of day is an idiot. It's no secret that states, counties, and cities across the country have been in tight financial situations for the past several years. Marketing a "purpose-built" (read: no retail model to help pay for development costs) with an expensive-as-s**t BMW turbodiesel was a recipe for failure, assuming it wasn't all just a scam to defraud the DOE. a few years ago I said "Carbon Motors will never ship a single vehicle." Looks like I was right.
        mike
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jz78817
        The BMW engine admittedly was a miss step.
      Rex Seven
      • 1 Year Ago
      The reason the gov loan was rejected was the gov already owned GM n Chrysler. They didn't want the competition. It would have been a better investment than Solyndra. That said, if they couldn't get private investment they didn't deserve to succeed.
      budwsr25
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's a shame this car didn't work out. But I think the the BMW drivetrain was its down fall.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @budwsr25
        [blocked]
      Deneway
      • 1 Year Ago
      It was a dumb idea. Glad to see no taxpayer money was spent on this Delorean type idea
      mylz
      • 1 Year Ago
      This company looking at the business model and investors kinda like Tesla deserved to go under. Both were highly miss managed. Carbon should have been smart and used closed factories but instead of building their own and starting from complete scratch. They should have taken the crown vic and modified it. They were going to use a BMW engine which was just stupid among many other decisions. Great ideas but as a start up with limited revenue they made a lot of mistakes
      budwsr25
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would like to see the design make it in to a mass production car.
      PICKLEBOY
      • 1 Year Ago
      This saddens me :( but it'd be awesome if they could offer this car as DLC in Need For Speed Rivals :)
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Carbon Vapor.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        b.rn
        • 1 Year Ago
        With a curb weight of 4000lbs, they're in the same ballpark as the Taurus PI
          The Wasp
          • 1 Year Ago
          @b.rn
          @carguy1701 1 part BMW, 2 parts vapor?
          • 1 Year Ago
          @b.rn
          [blocked]
      Roger
      • 1 Year Ago
      Meh, Leno's got slot #27B all lined up in his garage to take this thing.
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