Here's an electric car whose designers thought outside the box... literally.
It may look like Buckminster Fuller's interpretation of the Popemobile, but this is actually one Chinese company's idea of an armored electric police patrol car.
Wearing a name as unwieldy as its looks, the Zijing Qingyuan Armored Spherical Cabin Electric Patrol Vehicle, it debuted at the Security China show in Beijing last month, according to Car News China.
It's apparently designed for use by riot police, with the idea that they'll get an unobstructed 360-degree view from the armored bubble cockpit.
If the numerous hexagonal windows don't provide enough visibility (or if it rains, since there are only two wipers), there's also a camera mounted on top of the sphere.
The vehicle is armored to China's Level-A standard--meaning it can resist pistol fire only--and has seating for two.
Police officers can fire their guns through slots in the door windows, and smoke-grenade launchers can be mounted on the front fenders.
It wouldn't be surprising if police used those smoke grenades just to keep from being seen in this contraption.
Power comes from a single electric motor paired with a 15-kilowatt-hour battery pack. Range is quoted at around 74 miles, with a top speed of just under 50 mph.
The patrol car was built by Suzhou Zijing Qingyuan New Energy Vehicle Technology Corporation--Zijing Qingyuan for short--a company that specializes in electric vehicles for law enforcement, based in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou.
The company claims police are interested in the electric Spherical Cabin Patrol Vehicle, so perhaps you'll soon see these on the news patrolling Chinese roads.
Hopefully not, though.