Find by category:

Exhaust Notes

Design a Cop Car for 2025

The annual Design Challenge at the Los Angeles Auto Show seeks sketches for the most futuristic, earth-friendly police cars.

By Clifford Atiyeh Sep 5, 2012 9:23AM

Carbon Motors E7 (c) Carbon MotorsAs police departments wean themselves off the Ford Crown Victoria, they'll be buying run-of-the-mill pursuit cars from Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet  -- unless someone at the Los Angeles Auto Show pens something special.

This year, the show's Design Challenge, an annual competition open to automakers and individual designers, calls for sketches of futuristic police cars as imagined in 2025. Judges from art and design schools will award the best concept during the show's press events Nov. 29 (be patient, as the competition's registration still hasn't opened). While General Motors, BMW and even Bentley have promised to submit entries, anyone can compete, so long as the concepts involve "advanced powertrains, alternative fuels, telemetrics and new sizes to effectively navigate dynamic urban environments," according to the auto show.

Aside from a few Nissan Leaf patrol cars in Portugal and a pursuit Lamborghini Gallardo in Italy, most police cars -- even the latest Ford Taurus Interceptor and Chevrolet Caprice PPV -- don't offer much more than their civilian counterparts. But Carbon Motors, an Indiana-based automaker that plans to produce the world's first purpose-built cruiser, seems to have satisfied the show's challenge by a few years. Its E7 (pictured above) is already a rolling prototype.


The E7 comes from the factory with license-plate readers, integrated bumper "bashers" and a turbodiesel engine -- not to mention a rear seat that can be washed with a hose and is accessible by suicide doors. The only problems are the car's high cost, unknown reliability and lack of servicing dealers. While Carbon Motors says it has collected more than 20,000 reservations from all 50 states, its finances are in disarray. The company was denied a $310 million federal loan and saw its proposed manufacturing plant go to another buyer.

Our guess? In 13 years, no matter what technology debuts, we'll bet our insurance premiums that Crown Victorias will continue scaring us straight.

[Source: PR Newswire via Edmunds]

Sep 5, 2012 12:09PM
No matter what the outside looks like there must be a seat that allows officer so sit down with all their gear on the duty belt and still be comfortable. Nothing is more important and nothing is more overlooked than the seat in a police car.
@Mr. X: Yes, Ford did discontinue them, but they're going to be in service for a long, long time. Police agencies bought out the last new runs of them very early this year, so you can bet they'll be running for at least the next decade, if not more.
Sep 5, 2012 11:59AM
How did they ever expect to get a federal loan with the name 'Carbon' Motors?
Sep 5, 2012 11:51AM
Sep 5, 2012 12:44PM
woo hoo, let's figure out more ways for officers to create a money stream by issuing more tickets and at the same time ignore the original reason for law enforcement which is to protect and serve.
Only way they can afford these expensive cars is by issuing more tickets!!! 
A good ol patrol car driving through neighborhoods, alleys, and streets should work just fine...
Sep 5, 2012 11:42AM
Unfortunately the author of the article didn't fully do his research.  The ending statement about Crown Vics "scaring us straight" in 13 years won't happen.  Ford discontinued the Crown Vic at the end of the last model year so in 13 year, few, if any, crown vics will be seen in police departments.
One that keeps them at the speed limit would be nice.Activating the lights and siren would over-ride the speed governor  on marked cars and log the event with superiors.Of coarse they will have unmarked cars but they should be limited to a small percent of total duty vehicles.I'm sick of seeing these punk cops driving like the own the road.Lead by example pig.
Sep 5, 2012 1:14PM

How about a pedal powered tricycle. Then they can get some exercise going from connivance store to connivance store drinking free coffee and trying to pick up chicks

Sep 5, 2012 1:25PM
Sep 5, 2012 1:01PM
 The crown vic is gonna be tough to replace but like Klaus said the US made Taurus is a viable car.  I had a Taurus SHO  that I loved it was a badazz. Obviously others liked it as well it was stolen and replsced twice
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
MSN Money


Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.

Have a story idea? Tip us off at