Six more bulletproof cars you can buy
Dartz, TG's preferred purveyor of military grade assault vehicles favourable to Playboy bunnies and fictional dictators, has announced its newest creation. It's called the 'Black Shark' Prombron, and it is astonishing.
The basics are thus. It's based on a Mercedes-Benz GL, and will be offered with the option of a modified version of the twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 from the GL63 AMG, or a modified version of the twin-turbo 6.0-litre V12 from the GL65 AMG. Should you feel particularly despotic, you can spec it with 1,500bhp.
It also comes with electrochromatic privacy windows, disappearing doorhandles with an anti-paparazzi shock-device, a body made from Kevlar and titanium to protect against magnetic mines, and a rotating bulletproof grille.
The armour-plating is rated at grade B7. The roof is sniper resistant. It has a distance explosive detector and signal jammer. There's a ‘Golden Eye' (geddit?) system with a fingerprint and retina scanner. There's the ability to remotely scare off crowds using sirens and lights, and can watch over nearby vandals with the in-built cameras.
Incredible, right? It's also the latest in a long line of bullet-proof motors, including Mercedes-Benz's S-Class Guard revealed a few months back, which handily gets a lovely 6.0-litre V12 with 525bhp, and boasts enough protective capability to defend against rifle fire from military weapons, hand grenades, explosive charges, zombies, and, we presume, frickin' LAZERS.
So, cars built for the apocalypse. But they aren't the only armoured cars you can actually buy with your own money. No sir, there are many more.
We here at Top Gear pride ourselves on our solid, helpful and definitely-not-useless consumer advice. So should you be planning a military coup or simply plotting which niche area of human existence you can somehow squeeze into a twelve-part reality miniseries, here are six more bullet- and bomb-proof cars you might be interested in.Advertisement - Page continues below
Armoured BMW X5
If your school run involves a particularly violent stretch, perhaps you might consider one of these bullet-proof BMW X5 SUVs? It offers all round protection against violent assault, kidnapping and organized crime, largely thanks to an armoured passenger cell built from high-performance steel mouldings and panels.
It offers protection against the venerable AK47, has survived extreme hot and cold testing (lest you become abandoned), features glass resistant to blunt weapon attacks, and of course, a 450bhp V8 when you need to make a sharp exit.
Audi A8 L Security
Don't be fooled by Audi's spiel that the base of this A8 features aluminium and the whole Audi Space Frame tech - this car will still stop an explosive.
Its body panels and passenger cell are strong enough to withstand the might of NATO sub-caliber ammunition rounds, and in some areas, even complies to the highest ballistics protection against explosions. You're talking materials like heat-formed armour steel, aramide fabric, ceramic, and multi-laminated glass.
It can prevent against military hand grenades, and can be optioned not only with a cool stereo, but also pressurised air cartridges that pump breathing-quality air into the cabin during a smoky zone.Advertisement - Page continues below
Mercedes-Benz M-Class Guard
The monster S-Class Guard isn't the only protective Benz you can buy. This M-Class is another one, though only offers protection up to level VR4 (the S goes to VR9, pah!).
Still, you get super-thick windows, special steel throughout and reinforced elements to protect against weapons such as a Magnum .357 and .44, and the DM51 hand grenade. The tyres are run-flats, meanwhile, allowing you to escape for up to 30km at a max speed of 80km/h without any air at all.
This being a Benz though, also means you get air suspension and a V6 diesel.
A word of warning - it gets a bit... bigger from this stage onwards. And they don't come much bigger than the magnificently named Marauder.
It's built in South Africa, weighs ten tonnes, is 21ft long, 9ft high and will cost you in the region of £300,000. There are eight back seats, it comes with its own machine guns, has windows capable of preventing against RPGs and boasts the unique ability of furrowing its very own, very wide and very destructive path through any of the world's hotspots. Rubbish at McDonald's, though. So y'know, worth bearing in mind.
Conquest Vehicles Knight XV
One from a while back, this XV is nothing like the Subaru with which it shares its name. Principally because this XV is big, is based on a Ford F-350, weighs six and a half tonnes, is constructed using ballistic hardened steel and fiberglass, and features six centimeter thick armoured glass.
It'll withstand fire from many high-powered rifles and the odd roving bear, probably. Also comes with a 6.8-litre V10 with 400bhp. Because Canada.
Yes, its that car, the one TG's Sam Philip masterfully chauffeured Sascha Baron Cohen's ‘Dictator' in, some time back. Though the new 'Black Shark' Prombron is a limited edition affair - just five will be built - the 'standard' Prombron still boasts bulletproof windows a couple of inches thick, eight-inch doors that are bomb proof, a four-tonne kerbweight and a 6.6-litre General Motors V8.
Also, the star in one of TG's weirdest days in the office, like, ever.
We've no doubt missed a few more bulletproof cars, so why not enlighten us in the comments below? Remember, they have to be purchasable today. Keep 'em clean, people.Advertisement - Page continues below