If you operate in a position where you are likely to be shot at most violently - say, high-ranking government official, corporate bigwig, TOWIE producer - then please meet the Mercedes S600 ‘Guard'.
Vijay Pattni05 August 2014
Meet the bullet-proof Merc S-Class
Mercedes reveals S600 ‘Guard’ edition, able to withstand bullets and bombs
Essentially, it's a bullet- and bomb-proof Mercedes - literally bomb-proof - that will prevent your body from developing nasty, painful holes.
It's based on the latest generation of Mercedes S-Class, with a rather delightful 6.0-litre V12 engine up front developing an even more lovely 525bhp and 612lb ft of torque. And it's no lightweight: though Merc won't reveal the exact weight gain of the armoured S over the 2.2-tonne standard car, it's safe to say all that extra security padding has added a few points. This car's top speed is 130mph, 25mph shy of the limited S600.
But, of course, there is a lot of security on board. The bodyshell has had protective steel integrated between the structure and outer skin, there's ‘splinter' protection, and thick glass coated with polycarbonate on the inside.
Then there's armour covering the entire underbody for the first time, providing extensive protection against subterranean IEDS. All in, this new S600 Guard has been certified for the highest level of ballistic protection, which is VR9.
VR9, if you're wondering, means armour designed to resist rifle-fire from military weapons, a velocity twice that of handgun bullets, and resistance to splinters from hand grenades and explosive charges.
The S600's suspension has been beefed up to handle the increased weight, too; the air springs at the front have been reinforced, while additional steel springs are used on the rear axle. The dampers are active, of course, and Mercedes has fitted larger brakes than the standard S-Class.
The 'Guard' also uses run-flat tyres with a monitoring system, allowing you and your ideas for the next hit reality TV show to escape up to a distance of 19 miles with damaged tyres, under fire.
It's still an S-Class inside, too, so all the usual interior appointments apply. No word on price, but we imagine if you want one, money won't really be an issue. So, this, or a specially protected, bomb-proof BMW 7-Series?
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