carbon motors e7 police car 006
Carbon Motors E7Enlarge Photo
Many European countries use BMW sedans as patrol and pursuit cars. Now, BMW says it will sell more than 240,000 engines to U.S. police-car startup Carbon Motors for that company's cruiser.
The big shock? They're diesel engines. Specifically, BMW's 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six clean diesel, as used in the 2010 BMW 335d and 2010 BMW X5 xDrive35d sold in the U.S. since late 2008.
2009 BMW 335dEnlarge Photo
The scheme will see consumers given a $4,500 'Eco Credit' towards the purchase of a new 335d or an X5 xDrive35dEnlarge Photo
U.S. models like the 335d could eventually get the upgraded powerplantEnlarge Photo
Homeland Security ?!?!?
It's not every day you see a BMW press release boasting about its cooperation with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Unless Carbon plans to sell exclusively to Federal agencies, BMW's claim of a "substantial reduction in US government fleet's CO2 emissions" should probably be rewritten to reflect that fact that most police vehicles in the U.S. are purchased by state and local forces, not Federal ones.
More accurately, Ian Robertson, BMW's executive in charge of sales and marketing, proudly boasted that the sale would "reduce the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of more than 240,000 U.S. law enforcement vehicles by up to 40 percent."
The order is for not only engines, but includes cooling and exhaust aftertreatment equipment, and six-speed automatic transmissions as well. The BMW 3.0-liter twin-turbo diesel is rated at 245 horsepower and 400 foot-pounds of torque.
Last year, BMW sold half a million diesel models worldwide, almost 40 percent of its total sales. In Europe, 63 percent of its sales are powered by diesels.
Purpose-built for cops
Carbon Motors, of Connesville, Indiana, was founded in 2003 and is the world's sole manufacturer of purpose-built law-enforcement patrol cars.
The company unveiled its four-door sedan (code-named 'E7') almost 18 months ago, featuring an aluminum space-frame, four-wheel independent suspension, and 50-50 weight distribution.
The passenger compartment is large, with short overhangs and a long 122-inch wheelbase. Rear-hinged rear "suicide doors" presumably make it easier for a handcuffed perp to enter and exit.
Option: shotgun mounts
Among the lengthy list of options are such non-civilian items as emergency lights, "bass siren," night vision, 360-degree exterior surveillance, integrated shotgun mounts--and a rear passenger compartment that can be hosed out after transporting a late-night drunk or two.
Carbon CEO William Li praised the "performance, efficiency, and driving dynamics" of the BMW diesel powertrain at the announcement in Washington, D.C.
65,000 a year
Carbon says it has received more than 12,000 orders for the car, which will be sold only to legitimate law-enforcement agencies and taken back for destruction at the end of its 250,000-mile service life.
At most 65,000 police vehicles a year are sold each year in the U.S., the bulk of them currently Ford Crown Victoria sedans--a model that will go out of production late next year.
BMW will begin delivering engine-transmission packages to Carbon in the middle of 2013, meaning its cruisers should appear in your rear-view mirror by 2014, a full 11 years after Carbon was founded.