Even before the first utterance of recession, many have wondered what might become of the American auto industry — no matter if it’s true lack of quality or simply the perception.
I’d like to say that I’ve done my fair share to urge Detroit to build better cars by voting with my money. Money that I’ve spent on — albeit American-built — Honda and Toyota automobiles. But in the absence of a GM-, Ford- or Chrysler-built model suitable for law enforcement, could another auto manufacturer rise to fill the void?
With a joint agreement to with Meridian Automotive Systems, Inc. to work on the design and development of exterior body panels, Carbon Motors’ purpose-built law enforcement vehicle edges closer to fruition. Sure, Carbon Motors — established and run by ex-Ford employees — has high hopes to fulfill a “…critical mission to design, develop, manufacture, distribute, service, and recycle at end-of-life, the world’s first purpose-built law enforcement patrol vehicle.” But with the future of Ford’s Crown Victoria in question, the very existence of Chrysler seemingly doubtful, and GM offering only the front-wheel drive Chevrolet Impala (and SUVs too costly to fuel), might there be room for Carbon Motors’ E7?
The E7 certainly will be competitive and even looks “green,” with plans for a 300-hp forced-induction 3.0 diesel capable of running on biodiesel. Mated to a six-speed transmission, fuel economy may reach as much as 30 mpg. The Crown Vic offers 250 hp and about 24 mpg (highway) at the top end. Carbon Motors also expects the E7 to have 75-mph rear-impact crash capability, something claimed of the Crown Vic, but with some controversy surrounding the claim.
If nothing else, it looks cool with a hint of intimidation.