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Drive On: Police paddy wagons go high tech

8:07 AM, Dec 19, 2012   |    comments
Carbon Motors is making a purpose-built police van(Photo: Carbon Motors)
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Please, don't call it a paddy wagon.

Rather, police vehicle maker Carbon Motors refers to the $149,950 Carbon TX7 as a "multi-mission vehicle" that can be used as a police command post, for surveillance (like, who would notice?) or for prisoner transport.

Or, um, what many would call a paddy wagon.

When we last left off with Indiana-based Carbon Motors, it looked like it was having trouble building a novel, purpose-built police car. It was a great idea when the Ford Crown Victoria was getting creaky. But it lost steam when Ford, General Motors and Chrysler Group all came up with their own Crown Vic police replacements.

Now, Carbon is turning to the TX7, which is aimed at being a utility vehicle that police agencies will want to use every day for a number of purposes, not an expensive item left to languish in the yard waiting for a disaster.

It is slated to start production this year ahead of the E7 police cruiser. Like the car, TX7 would be powered by a V-8 diesel engine with all wheel drive. It can seat 10, which is why it could ferry SWAT squads as easily as a troop of inmates.

Carbon says the E7 will be built as well. It says 638 law enforcement agencies have 24,442 reservations for E7 patrol car in both its pursuit and surveillance versions.

USA Today

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