April 18, 2007 Discretion was once the key in the luxury armoured vehicle market, but with competitors like Range Rover and Jaguar making inroads into the market, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has taken the crass step of revealing to the press that an armoured version of the Phantom will be launched, offering "substantial security benefits for those customers that require the highest levels of personal protection."

Engineered to BR7 level, the highest current international protection rating, the Phantom Armoured is virtually indistinguishable from the standard version, inside and out. However, the car features high-tech fibre composites and special purpose steel to provide protection for the bodywork, while the glazed area is constructed from sheets of thickened glass. In addition, a polycarbonate layer is fitted to the inside for extra passenger protection.

The BR7 protection standard requires that materials be independantly proven to withstand 7.62 x 51 NATO 150 grain, full copper jacket steel hard core bullets with a velocity of 2657 to 2723 ft/sec, such as those fired from a .308 Winchester rifle.

This bad boy will stand up to an AK47 attack from 10 feet away. For comparison, a car would only have to meet the lower BR4 standard to protect its owner from Dirty Harry's .44 Magnum.

The Phantom’s aluminium spaceframe chassis and suspension components have been strengthened to cope with the additional weight of the modifications. However, the powertrain remains unchanged, providing 453bhp and an eyebrow-raising 720Nm of torque. As well as ballistic security, the new package has been designed to offer the same luxury, refinement and comfort as the standard Rolls-Royce range.

Customers will be able to order Phantom Armoured from all Rolls-Royce dealers and can tailor every aspect of the car to their own specific requirements. This new model will be available initially in Europe and the Middle East.