Calling all cars: Carbon Motors purpose-built police car

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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]

Gallery: Carbon Motors E7

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