ATLANTA – Carbon Motors Corp.'s new high-tech Carbon E7 concept vehicle draws on suggestions from more than 3,000 law enforcement professionals, according to CNN.com. The E7 was designed by cops for cops, breaking the tradition of recruiting family sedans into the force, company co-founder Stacy Dean Stephens said.
Highlights of the futuristic prototype include:
- 300 hp from a clean diesel engine.
- Flashing lights visible from all angles.
- Ergonomic cockpit.
- Onboard computer with voice command and instant license plate recognition.
- Integrated shotgun mounts.
- Seat recesses to accommodate bulky gun belts.
Rear-hinged "suicide doors" make it easier for handcuffed passengers to get in and out, and the seat is designed so "guests" can ride comfortably with their hands cuffed behind their backs. Seat belts are anchored in the center of the seat and buckle near the door for added safety so the officer doesn't have to lean across the prisoner.
Perhaps most popular among cops is the rear compartment, which is sealed off from the front and made entirely of seamless, washable plastic, with drain plugs in the floor — a bonus for those who have experienced prisoners vomiting or relieving themselves in the back seat.
The E7 can go 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, has a top speed of 155 mph, and can withstand a 75-mph rear impact, according to the company's Web site. It has bullet-resistant panels in the doors and dash and has push bumpers incorporated into the aluminum frame. The upper flashing lights are integrated into the roof panel, eliminating the need for a bolted-on light bar that causes aerodynamic drag -- reducing fuel economy -- and can lead to rust.
Despite the technologically advanced features, price may make the vehicle a tough sell to fleets, with company officials estimating as much as $50,000 per unit.