Lexani Motorcars builds armored Toyota Sequoia
By David Szondy
January 20, 2013
If you’re looking for a car that can ride out the zombie apocalypse in comfort and money is no object, then Lexani Motorcars has something for you. The company has customized a Toyota Sequoia by adding enough armor to satisfy General Patton and then blinged it out with everything from wine coolers to huge leather seats. The resulting luxury SUV appears to be aimed at people who believe that security concerns don’t mean doing without a cranking infotainment system and a wall to wall flat screen TV.
We generally associate armored cars with huge limousines like the one the U.S. President rides around in. The President’s official car is a massive, custom-built mobile fortress that can see off almost every possible threat up to and including an anti-tank round, fire and chemical weapons. However, most armored vehicles are actually much more low key and you probably wouldn't notice if one pulled up next to you at the stop light.
The popular notion of such cars is that they’re loaded down with so much steel that they can barely move. In fact, recent developments in composite armor allow a very high degree of protection for very little weight. They are also designed to perform at least as well as a conventional car because being able to escape an attack is often more important than being able to take a hit. In addition, these cars are bought by a wide variety of customers around the world up to and including heads of state, and many customers want a car that is fun to drive as well as bulletproof. With this in mind, the modifiers go to great pains to beef up the engine and suspension.
Lexani has taken a standard 2013 Toyota Sequoia and with the help of professional car armorers, made quite it a bit more security conscious. Using Kevlar, ceramic composites, ballistic steel and laminated armor glass, the van has been turned it into something capable of withstanding penetration by 7.62 x 51 mm M80 NATO Ball ammunition and the floor has enough blast protection to meet STANAG 4569 Level 1 certification. That means it can stand up to blast and shrapnel equivalent to two hand grenades wired together and simultaneously detonated. In addition to protecting the passenger compartment, the fuel tank is also armored as is the vehicle battery.
With all this tacked on, it’s no wonder that measures such as the inclusion of new door-hinges that can take 60 percent more weight had to be taken. Despite this, the director of sales for Lexani Motorcars, Kim Pemberton, says that the biggest problem wasn't weight, but finding the space to put in all the mod cons like chill drawers and disappearing flat screens.
The video below highlights the features of the armored Toyota Sequoia.