11 November 2008

Super trooper

Is this the next US cop car? What's going on with the doors?

The Italian police get a Gallardo, the Brits get a diesel Astra… and the US cops get something that looks like Bladerunner-meets-Mitsubishi-Evo with backwards doors and KITT lights.

Well, they will if Carbon Motors gets its way. This is the E7, a prototype patrol car just unveiled at the 115th International Association of Police Chiefs in San Diego, California (how wild does that party sound, by the way?).

Carbon Motors - with an air of mild smugness - hopes to lure enough cops away from their Crown Vics and Chevy Impalas to be able to bring the E7 to production, so you might just see a few of them fishtailing across public highways and laying down stingers and all those other things that they up to on America’s Most Deranged Cop Chases.

Naturally, it’s kitted out with everything a good ol’ sheriff could need – licence plate recognition, night vision, infrared system and shotgun mounts – but here’s the real shocker: it’s a diesel.

A three-litre turbodiesel, to be exact, putting out around 300bhp and 420lb ft of torque. Carbon Motors wants to lower the carbon footprint of US police forces, but that won’t come at the expense of a bit of performance: apparently the E7 will hit 60mph in just over six seconds and max out at 150mph – not quite LP560-4 pace, but plenty respectable.

Still, we’re struggling to see quite how a custom-built police car is going to work. Servicing costs? Repairs? And what the hell do you do with it at the end of its working life?

Then again, it looks cool. And how often do errant Yank scallies get to be ferried round in something with suicide doors?

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