When Carbon Motors showed off their concept of a purpose-built police cruiser, it sparked immediate interest, and 638 law enforcement agencies placed orders for the advanced and admittedly pretty cool-looking cruisers. Now they’re all sure to end up feeling disappointed, as Carbon Motors has announced that they won’t be building the cruisers after all, and are instead planning to build police vans. In addition to looking plenty intimidating, these vans will serve as SWAT vehicles. But with a price tag of $150,000, they will cost a fraction of what other special mission vehicles cost, according to an article from Jalopnik.
The big 4X4 truck holds ten passengers in the back and is powered by a diesel V8. A CNG powertrain is on the way too, along with solar panel arrays, WMD detection equipment and some nonspecific equipment still in development. Carbon Motors is offering “special pricing” for those agencies which had originally placed orders for the cruiser. This is distinctly not what they were ordering, but it is another piece of equipment which law enforcement needs, and disappointed or not, a good price is a good price. There is something of a concern that this one won’t actually make it to production either, but the case for a van is still clearer than a cruiser. Carbon’s cruiser was built specifically to be a police vehicle, rather than converted from a mainstream sedan, and was therefore ideally suited to the job. It was cheaper, faster and more fuel efficient than the leading converted cruiser models, but the advantage still wasn’t huge. Since special mission trucks can easily cast as much as $2 million, Carbon Motors will have a much bigger advantage over their competition with this van.
*Update/Correction* Carbon Motors has confirmed to us that is has not abandoned production of the E7 Pursuit and Surveillance vehicle, and that the TX7 surveillance van will be delivered ahead of schedule in 2013.