When you think about it, there’s a certain logic to the idea behind the new Carbon Motors police car.
Most government emergency vehicles are designed for the purpose to which they will be put. Fire trucks are designed as fire trucks. Ambulances, though built on truck chassis, are a dedicated design.
But police cars are just old Fords.
To rectify that situation, Carbon Motors has introduced a police car that’s designed as a police car, the “Carbon E7.”
The drivetrain appears to be BMW: an in-line six cylinder diesel with twin turbos that puts out 300 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission. The body is an aluminum space frame and the car is designed to withstand a 75 mph rear impact. Carbon claims the E7 is designed with a 250,000 mile service life.
It’s also equipped with a cornucopia of cop dreams: the front seat is designed for a driver wearing “police equipment,” the vehicle has “coach rear doors” to make it easier to cuff and stuff, it has a heads-up display and back up camera, plus a 360 degree “exterior surveillance capability” and an “automatic license plate recognition system.” The interior lights won’t interfere with nightvision goggles and the rear compartment is wired: the officer has both video and audio of whoever is in back. The bumpers are designed for pushing and the vehicle is designed for “PIT” maneuvers. (You know – that’s the one where the cop taps the side of the back bumper of the fleeing felon, causing him to spin out for the real life cops shows on TV.)
Carbon has not announced a price or production schedule. But its timing may just be perfect. Ford has announced that it will discontinue the Crown Victoria sedan next year. The Crown Vic is the basis for the Police Interceptor model used by most police department in the United States. Though Dodge does have a police version of the Charger, it has only a small fraction of the market. Without the Crown Vic, police departments are going to have a hard time finding suitable squad cars. Even though the Carbon 7 is likely to be significantly more expensive that the Ford or Dodge, the idea of a purpose-designed police vehicle with a very long service life may just be attractive to police departments, at least for marked police vehicles.
Wonder if they’ll make a Carbon taxicab.