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by Tim Beissmann

It may look like something out of Grand Theft Auto, but the Carbon TX7 multi-purpose police truck will begin protecting the streets of America within 12 months if its designers have their way.

Indiana-based homeland security company Carbon Motors announced the intimidating TX7 ‘Multi Mission Vehicle’ is now available for US emergency service departments to order, with production slated to start in late 2013.

At 6.9m long, 2.5m wide and 3.0m tall (picture a 2x2x2 stack of Volkswagen Up! hatchbacks), the Carbon TX7 has room for 10 occupants, and has been designed for prisoner transport and personnel carrying, surveillance and integrated incident command duties.

The Carbon TX7 teams a 224kW/813Nm-plus turbo diesel V8 with a six-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels of the off-road-capable police truck.

Offering NIJ Level III-A ballistic protection, the TX7’s unique standard features list includes a weapons of mass destruction threat detection warning system, reconnaissance system with unmanned aerial vehicle deployment and control, holding cell, infrared cameras and thermal imaging system, and roof-mounted solar panels.

The Carbon TX7 is priced from US$149,950 ($142,400), which Carbon says makes it competitive in a segment of vehicles that typically starts at several hundred thousand dollars and ranges up to US$2 million.