July 5, 2006 Last November Jaguar announced itself as the first mass-produced vehicle manufacturer to offer an armoured passenger car when it put the Armoured XJ Long Wheelbase luxury saloon car on its brochure. Now Mercedes Benz has followed suit, and as of today, the new-generation E-Class can be ordered with a ballistic protection package (known as E-Guard) directly ex factory. Mercedes and Jaguar join a host of boutique manufacturers of armoured luxury vehicles such as Donald Rumsfeld’s preferred choice of the Rhino Runner, to the Russian Combat T-98 Armoured Luxury SUV. The world can be a hostile and dangerous place with hundreds of war zones around the world at any given time, plus many countries where assassination and kidnapping are routine. Despite wars and organized criminal activity, life has to go on, and there are some people who feel the need to be transported in the manner befitting their station in life. The prime advantage of the Mercedes E-Guard system is that the cars have no external markings indicating their capability – so your adversaries will only find out you’re protected after they’ve played their hand!
Thanks to the protective features already integrated ex factory, the new E-Class models provide protection against day-to-day criminality while ensuring a quality of security which is not achievable with retrofitted armouring. The Mercedes-Benz E-Guard E 320 CDI is also the world’s first diesel model to feature high protection ex factory.
This integrated protection is incorporated on a high-security production line, where experienced specialists build each vehicle from the ground up. Specifically this means that the doors, rear wall, sides, roof and firewall of the passenger cell are fitted with effective protective components of steel and aramid – including areas which are afterwards no longer accessible. In addition, the basic structure of the vehicle body is reinforced to account for the greater weight. This ensures that in all respects, the E-Guard models exhibit the same, typical Mercedes quality as all the standard production models.
This means that in normal road traffic the new-generation E-Guard models are incognito, for there is no external indication that their protective cell is able to stop bullets right up to the mighty .44 Magnum, and has therefore been officially certificated to meet the stringent requirements of protection category B4. The new E-Guard models, which are only supplied in the Avantgarde version, substantially retain their generous interior spaciousness, a high level of ride comfort and the excellent handling which is characteristic of the standard Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
The new E-Guard models are equipped with the same technical innovations as all the other models in the new-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class, deliveries of which commenced in June 2006. This means that the engineers have newly developed or improved more than 2000 components versus the preceding model. Beside the new design the highlights also include appointments which no other car worldwide possesses, with the following innovative safety features and technologies:
* PRE-SAFE - an anticipatory system which reflexively activates safety features for the driver and front passenger when an accident appears likely;
* NECK-PRO head restraints – these reduce the risk of whiplash injuries during a rear-end collision;
* Intelligent Light System – unique, adaptive headlamps which adapt to the driving and weather conditions;
* ADAPTIVE BRAKE – brake lights that flash during emergency braking, allowing a faster braking response by drivers following behind;
* DIRECT CONTROL – more direct steering combined with a new suspension configuration for considerably more agility.
The new-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Guard models are available in three engine variants. The new six-cylinder diesel engine of the E-Guard E 320 CDI develops an output of 165 kw/224 hp, while the V6 petrol unit of the E-Guard E 350 has an output of 200 kW/272 hp. The most powerful variant is the newly developed V8 of the E-Guard E 500, which has a displacement of 5.5 litres and an output of 285 kW/388 hp. All the new-generation E-Guard models are equipped with MOExtended run-flat tyres by Michelin in conjunction with a pressure loss warning system. Their maximum speed is limited to 240 km/h.