Mercedes-Maybach has unveiled a special-protection model of its luxurious S 600 limousine, with the highest level of ballistic protection for civilian vehicles. The S 600 Guard is aimed at the likes of heads of state and business leaders who may be concerned about bullets or explosives being aimed at them.
Mercedes boasts that the Guard offers "unsurpassed standards of spaciousness, ride comfort and luxury on-board features." At a length of 5,453 mm (215 in), it's 200 mm (7.9 in) longer than the S-Class Saloon, with rear passengers benefiting by way of extra legroom.
Its VR10 protection rating, awarded by the Ballistics Authority in Ulm, Germany, requires that a vehicle's bodywork and windows must be able to withstand hardened steel core bullets fired from an assault rifle. Car occupants are also said to be afforded "comprehensive protection" against explosive devices.
Among the protective measures of the Guard are a reinforced base structure integrated into the bodyshell. Steel components are fitted in the cavities between the inner and outer skins of the vehicle, with aramid and polyethylene components also employed.
The car's windows are fixed and made of thick, "specially selected material." In addition, they are coated with polycarbonate on the inside to protect vehicle occupants from any potential glass splinters.
Elsewhere, underbody armor provides protection from explosives beneath the vehicle and Mercedes says there are "special technical features" to keep the Guard mobile in the event of an attack so that it can escape danger.
The S 600 joins the S-Class, G-Class and GLE models that also have Guard models. It is priced at a cool €470,000 (US$518,000) plus VAT.