Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Police Car for the 21st Century: Carbon E7



The Carbon E7 is designed to be the future of the American police car.  Rather than take a standard civilian car or SUV and adding police equipment to it, Carbon's plan is to produce a purpose-built car for law enforcement use.


As you can see, all emergency lighting is integrated into the bodywork.  This helps with aerodynamics and durability.  Plenty of red/blue side lights make sure the car can be seen from all angles.


It also features extra wide opening rear suicide doors both for ease and safety in loading "passengers" for rides down to the local hoosegow.  Seat belts are also pulled out from the center of the car so the officers don't have to lean over their charges when fastening the seatbelts.


The front seat passengers have it a little better.  The seats in particular are designed for comfort and support.  The lower seatbacks are sculptured to allow for duty belts that contain everything from handcuffs to guns to batons that officers have to wear.


Computer terminals are built-in, and there are one-touch buttons for common tasks.  One button puts the car in Code 1, 2 or 3 condition as well as turning everything off.  The car features automatic license plate recognition and infrared cameras as well as detectors for "weapons of mass destruction" (I'm assuming this is gas, radiation, etc.).  It will also feature (optional) Kevlar door inserts for extra protection against perps. 


There's plenty of dedicated room for the cops to carry around their own weapons of mass destruction as well.


The E7 is powered by a BMW turbodiesel engine producing 250hp and 400 ft/lbs of torque.  The car itself is rated for a life of around 250,000 miles which is double that of the standard Crown Vic or Impala squad car.  It's also designed to withstand a 75mph rear end collision.


The car will be built in Connersville, Indiana (eventually).  It will be sold only to law enforcement agencies and, unlike current police cars, will NOT be sold to the public when their service life is up.  They will be "traded in" to Carbon who will recycle as much as they can.

Carbon E7 in Dallas

Carbon has at least one hand-built car which has spent the past year or so on tour to generate interest and to try and get advanced orders for the car. The last I heard, they are waiting for government loans and grants from Homeland Security to come through.  I have no idea how close they are to actual production.

Lets hope  we see it on the road soon, and while I don't want to seem negative, I can't help but draw some parallels to another fantastic car with innovative ideas, yet was underfunded and failed....the Tucker.  A single hand-built prototype taken out on tour to gain interest, lots of promises made, reservations being taken (deposits in Tucker's case), a plant, lots of publicity, but few, if any, actual cars (yet), mainly because of funding, or lack thereof. 

Lets hope that things turn out better for Carbon.  Our law enforcement people deserve this car.   

I wish them all the luck in the world.

Click logo for Carbon's website.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, yeah, that sounds like a smart idea. Having a car that's made for the sole function of police work feels more efficient, like a realistic Batmobile or James Bond spy car. I hope things work out well for the Carbon, and that the police can use something like this.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are encouraged. Let us know what you think!