I’ve long been a fan of police interceptors of all types. I love seeing them at car shows and even cruising down the road. So many of them have such cool lines and the graphics so often bring it all together. The look of a classic black and white is really just the epitome of a police cruiser to me.
One of the things that I have always disliked about so many late model police vehicles is the methods that are used to get the specialized equipment into the cars. I once saw a Suburban that had the police radio unit installed directly over top of the factory radio. Not only was the radio only accessible by swinging the custom electronics out of the way, it made the temperature controls require attention to access. It’s always just seemed to me that police vehicles were a kludge and provided function over form. The costs to get all of that additional equipment added to the car after the fact can make a typical family sedan prohibitively expensive. Couple that with additional costs to decommission the vehicle and it gets pretty expensive for tax payers to purchase a vehicle that isn’t really much better than it was prior to all of the additions.
Apparently, someone agrees with me. Carbon Motors Corporation has thrown their hat into the ring by introducing a “purpose built” police vehicle. With GM practically out of the police interceptor market after dropping our beloved B-Bodies, and Ford foolishly canceling the P71 Panther platform, there really aren’t a lot of suitable replacements for police departments to choose from. The new Charger has the performance, if properly optioned, but not much interior space. The Impala and Taurus-based “interceptors” don’t really have the space and the performance just isn’t up to par with the cruisers of old. There isn’t a lot left and Carbon Motors wants to rectify that.
The new Carbon Motors E7 Police Vehicle is specifically designed for law enforcement usage. The systems are all integrated into the vehicle design rather than tacked on after the fact. The cockpit area is put together in such a manner that all of the required police vehicle functions are easily accessible and law enforcement options are factory fitted. Forward Looking Infra-Red(FLIR), Heads Up Display, License Plate Recognition system, and Audio/Video surveillance of rear seats are all standard options. The cockpit is also equipped with Integrated weapons mounts to hold shotguns as well as automatic weapons and the seats are specifically designed for use with on-body equipment like cuffs, radios, or handguns to allow officers to stay warm or cool as environmental conditions require. The doors and dash panel are engineered with ballistic material to provide an increased level of protection against small arms compared to all previous police cruisers.
The BMW manufactured diesel engine makes 250 horsepower putting out 400 ft-lbs of torque so this car can hold its own amongst it’s Big Three brethren and do it with lower emissions and better fuel efficiency. ABS and vented disc brakes means it will stop where and when it needs to as well.
The rear passenger area is specifically designed for ease of ingress and egress when loading suspects. The rear doors swing towards the rear of the car and open well clear of the rear passenger area opening. The rear seating area is also “hoseable” as that sort of thing really does become necessary sometimes.
Personally I think Carbon Motors has a winner here. The vehicle could be larger, in my opinion, but overall I think it really fits a need for better designed police vehicles. Carbon Motors has an order in with BMW for 240,000 of their diesel engines and so far 493 police agencies in 50 states have placed orders for these cars. Currently over 16,000 cars are reserved from the first vehicle manufacturing run. Based on this, I expect we’ll be seeing these on the road pretty soon.