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Armored Mercedes S-Class promises highest level of ballistic protection


August 9, 2014

For those who want to be seen, flags and flashing lights are optional

For those who want to be seen, flags and flashing lights are optional

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Feeling a little paranoid about attacks from all of those pesky challengers to your authority? Perhaps you just crave a bit of extra security in your limousine? Well, Mercedes may just have the answer for you, in the form of its S600 Guard.

The S600 Guard is an S-Class that has been packed to the brim with armor, designed to protect occupants against the full range of threats that face a modern head of state.

The first change Mercedes has made to the standard S-Class is in the bodyshell: special reinforced steel is fitted between car's structure and bodywork to provide extra protection against ballistics like gunfire or rockets. These are supplemented by aramid components, which provide extra protection against weapons that splinter.

To minimize weakness, Mercedes has reinforced potential weak spots by strategically overlapping panels. Speaking of the dangers facing passengers, one of the biggest threats they'll face when under attack is splintering glass, so the S600 Guard features thickened laminated glass, coated with polycarbonate.

Under the car, most key components are protected by armor plating to deal with explosives.

All of this armor adds up to a car that, according to Mercedes, will protect occupants against explosives fired from close range on both sides of the car, and has been awarded the highest possible rating for protection against ballistics (VR9).

Protecting occupants is one thing, but subtlety is also an asset when ferrying dignitaries around. Although the S600 Guard has been designed to look as much like a standard S-Class as possible, with flashing lights and flags fitted there's no mistaking that someone important is riding inside.

Inside, the Guard is available with most of the driver aids that Mercedes offers on its standard S-Class, and extra interior features like a rear-seat office are available.

Air suspension is standard, with steel rear springs providing extra reinforcement to deal with the weight associated with armor-plating.

The S-Class' brakes are also uprated to deal with the extra weight: up front the standard car's brake calipers have been upgraded to six-piston units, which clamp on bigger brake discs. The rear brakes are also bigger than those on the standard car, and the wheels are wrapped in special run-flat tires, which allow drivers to travel 30 km (19 miles) from sticky situations while damaged.

Powering the Guard is a 390 kW (530 hp) V12. With peak torque of 830 Nm (612 lb/ft), the V12 should comfortably be able to power the heavily-armored S-Class. Power is put down by Mercedes' 7G-TRONIC automatic, and the Guard's top speed is limited to 210 km/h (130 mph).

Mercedes has not published details of pricing, but expect a hefty premium over a standard S-Class.

Source: Daimler

About the Author
Scott Collie Based in Melbourne, Australia, Scott grew up with a passion for cars and a love of writing. He now combines the two by covering all things automotive for Gizmag. When he’s got a spare moment, you can usually find him freezing himself silly in search of fresh powder to ski. All articles by Scott Collie

As cool as this it has to be a lot harder to retrofit a S600 with armor than build an armored design from scratch.



To build from scratch would require it being designed from scratch. It is one thing to stamp out components from sheet steel, it is something else entirely to do so from armourplate steel. The tooling costs alone would be prohibitive.

In short, it would cost a fortune for an extremely limited production run and thus simply not be worth all the effort.

Mel Tisdale

This isn't really new - my dad had an armored BMW in the 1980's that was factory built. You could not tell from either inside or outside that it was armored, except at the window corners where everything was hugely distorted. At the time, you could get both the 5 & 7 series armored by BMW, my dad had a 5, his boss a 7.

In a rather funny incident, he once parked it on a street and someone apparently tried to break in with what looked like a sledge hammer. Left a bunch of very small triangular dimples and some powdered glass.... Can't imagine what the would be thief thought, but I would have loved to see their face...

The other thing was that every three months, the door hinges needed to be replaced.

Chris Maresca

Test in Israel alone, donate to Isreali govt, VIPs, execs for use. & other Hot spots PR on Expendables 4 & 007 due.

Stephen Russell

While I'm sure this would protect the passengers against gun fire, the armor plating underneath would only protect against relatively small explosions. The design of a car covering a relatively large area with very little ground clearance means that an explosive detonated underneath would be nearly impossible to withstand by any reasonable amount of armor. The explosion's energy simply has nowhere to dissipate.

Siegfried Gust

If the assassin knows that you are driving an armored car he will just take you out with with a RPG-7.

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