Mercedes’ armour-plated V12 luxury sedan can shield occupants from assault rifle gunfire and explosive blasts.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has gained an armoured version aimed at heads of state and business leaders, with explosion-resistant and bulletproof bodywork.
The S680 Guard 4Matic will start from €457,100 (AUD$730,000), with a choice of four or five seats. It’s driven by a twin-turbo V12 engine producing 456kW and 830Nm, and is the first Guard variant to include four-wheel drive.
It is rated at a ‘VR10’ level of safety, which is the highest possible grade for a civilian car.
Run-flat tyres are equipped as standard for up to 30km of driving when punctured and each model includes electro-mechanical doors and hydraulic windows, which can be closed quickly without electricity during an attack.
The car is also fitted with automatic fire extinguishing and an emergency fresh air system. Other Guard options include equipment for government authorities, such as a siren, flashing lights, radios and a panic alarm system.
Mercedes says the car can resist gunfire from an assault rifle using armour-piercing ammunition and that it achieved top scores in three explosive resistance tests, with maximum scores with protection to roof, floor and side body areas.
Tests were completed using biofidelic dummies, designed with bone density and structures modelled on the human skeleton, complete with acrylic ligaments and tendons. The tests recorded ‘no damage’ to any of the dummies inside the car.
“This special protection model focuses on people and their safety,” said Dirk Fetzer, S-Class product manager.
“No other series-produced saloon fulfils the highest protection class for civilian vehicles quite as comprehensively. And at the same time quality and durability are at series standard, thanks to extensive development and testing activities. The new special protection version ‘protects what matters,’” Fetzer said.
Mercedes-Benz has designed and built special protection vehicles since 1928, starting with the Nürburg 460 model. The new S680 Guard 4Matic will make a public debut at the Munich Motor Show in September this year.