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!