Mercedes-Benz "Pullman" cars have a long, distinguished history of chauffeuring dignitaries and VIPs, the type of folks that generally require a little extra protection. Now marketed under the Mercedes-Maybach brand, the newest S600 Pullman is getting the armored upgrade it needs to fully serve its clientele and ferry them to safety through bullet fire and explosions.
Built with a similar protection suite to the one that fortifies the S600 Guard, the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman Guard has been designed to maintain the same spacious interior dimensions as the regular Pullman, only with a bit more muscle surrounding that limousine cabin.
An armored steel bulkhead behind the rear seats protects the passenger head area, and special steel sandwiched between the car's frame and body panels reinforces other parts of the vehicle. Aramid and PE components protect against splintering, and the glass includes an inner polycarbonate coating for the same purpose.
After all is said and done, the armoring package is built for VR9-level protection, standing up to fire from military weapons. The car also provides blast protection in accordance with the ERV 2010 standard, relying on strategically placed floor armoring.
To help keep the interior comfortable and practical for its distinguished (or at least filthy rich) occupants, Mercedes has equipped the heavy, armored rear doors with motor-assist opening and closing – because there's nothing distinguished about tearing your suit while shoulder-ramming a car door open.
Beyond the reinforcements and additions, the S600 Pullman Guard is the same stretched heap of rolling luxury as the regular S600 Pullman. The armoring is designed to be inconspicuous so that the car appears to be the standard Pullman to onlookers. The passenger compartment features two highly adjustable VIP recliner seats facing the direction of travel and two front seats facing back at them. A partition wall with electrically-lowered, adjustable-tint window separates the passengers from the driver's compartment.
The 21-ft-long (6.5-m-long) Guard is powered by a 523-hp 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12, and its top speed is electronically limited to 99 mph (160 km/h) – so it might have to hang in there and take the blows, instead of speeding away to safety.
The S600 Pullman Guard starts at €1.4 million (approx. US$1.6 million), nearly triple the price of the non-armored S600 Pullman. Available options include sirens, flashers and an external communication system. Customer deliveries will begin in the second half of 2017.