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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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