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Carbon Motors TX7: Police-grade vaporware with a $150K price tag

A new urban assault vehicle may or may not see the light of day.

By Car_and_Driver Dec 21, 2012 10:48AM






Not content with a claimed 24,442 orders for its E7 cop car—of which it seems exactly one prototype has been produced— Indiana–based carmaker and daydreamer Carbon Motors is announcing a second vehicle.

 

A vehicle that’s scheduled to begin production at the end of next year—shortly before the E7 is scheduled to begin rolling off production lines. The massive, tank-like vehicle you see before you is the TX7, a design for transporting personnel and prisoners in high-risk environs.

 

Offered from “only $149,950,” the all-wheel-drive TX7 is designed to be equipped with a 300-plus-hp V-8 diesel or a compressed-natural-gas powertrain for “communities promoting an environmentally responsible approach.” And that’s an unfortunate choice of words considering the TX7 isn’t slated to get a gasoline-powered engine; Carbon Motors already has an order in to BMW for 240,000 diesel powertrains.

 

Those components were supposed to be fitted in the now nearly forgotten E7. Said BMW’s sales and marketing board member Ian Robertson back then: “We announced the expansion of our powertrain system sales business as part of the company’s Strategy Number ONE. Today’s agreement with Carbon Motors marks another important milestone along this route—with others to follow.” Another pillar of that strategy was selling engines to Saab, so make what you will of BMW’s method.

 

Past the powertrain details, the TX7 is set to get a host of other law enforcement–specific features. Not only does the vehicle have seating for 10, it also comes with infrared, thermal imaging, and weapons of mass destruction–detection equipment. And that WMD attire? It seeks out chemical and biological weapons, as well as most anything emitting radiation.


Carbon Motors TX7 (c) Carbon Motors

It’s tough to judge the looks of the TX7 from the computer renderings provided for lack of an actual vehicle. But even this dramatized visualization betrays the awkward attempt at carving a smirk into an intimidating metal box with all the sophistication of an AWS Shopper. (We’ll wait while you Google AWS Shoppers.)


It turns out the stylistic disaster is no accident: “The TX7 was designed with the commanding presence sought after by law enforcement while still providing community friendly appearance desired by citizens and governing bodies.” Get a good look while you can, because you’re not likely to see one on the road any time soon.


-- Jens Meiners

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