This armoured Land Rover Defender belongs in a Bond film | Top Gear
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This armoured Land Rover Defender belongs in a Bond film

Land Rover teams up with German armorers Trasco for a line of shielded Defenders

Published: 19 Oct 2022

Ever heard the one about a bulletproof Land Rover?

And before you reply, ‘Yeah, it’s called a Landcruiser’, we should point out that we’re talking about a literally bulletproof Land Rover. A new Defender 110, to be precise.

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OK, if we’re in the business of being precise, we should mention that ‘bulletproof’ is a bit of a misnomer. As you’d rather hope from something that’s supposed to come between you and a bullet, there are rather specific protection ratings with rather specific tests to prove it.

So in circumstances as specific and serious as these, nothing’s ever called bulletproof. The generally accepted catch-all term is ballistic protection; German armorer Trasco calls its bullet... er, resistant system ‘A-Kip‘. Which a) doesn’t really explain much by itself, and b) isn’t an imagination-capturing name in the vein of ‘Desert Eagle’ or ‘Marauder’. Then again, we suppose that the perfect name – Defender – was already taken, so it was always going to be a tall order to top that.

In case you’re curious, A-Kip apparently stands for ‘anti-kidnap’, which really does dump a whole bucketload of seriousness into the conversation. As you might imagine, the specifics are something of a trade secret – knowing the system is the first step to defeating it – but we do know it involves quite a bit of ‘security-grade steel, glass and composite materials’, which offers a choice of ‘VPAM 4 or VPAM 6 levels of ballistic protection'.

For those who aren’t immediately familiar with armour ratings, VPAM 4 level protection will stop three consecutive rounds fired from a 44 magnum. VPAM 6, on the other hand, will stop three 7.62x39mm rounds – or exactly the sort you’d find in an AK-47, apparently. Which says all it needs to about a certain assault rifle’s ubiquity and the kinds of people who choose to pick one up these days.

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In any case, because discretion is the better part of valour, the A-Kipped Defender manages to remain about as inconspicuous as a regular Defender 110. Although it must be said that for absolute anonymity, you could do worse than bullet-proofing a 10-year-old Skoda Octavia. And then, presumably, make jokes about a bulletproof one being called a Camry.

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