Bullet-proof luxury: The Range Rover Sentinel

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Range Rover's first armored vehicle, the Sentinel, is based on a standard wheelbase Range Rover Autobiography

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For the customer whose daily routine involves the threat of being shot at or bombed, but whose taste doesn't run to presidential limousines, the new Range Rover Sentinel might just fit the bill. Though other Range Rovers have been modified by third party firms, this is the first armored Land Rover to be fully engineered in-house by the company's Special Vehicle Operations division.

The Range Rover Sentinel is built at Land Rover's Oxford Road facility and is based on a standard wheelbase Range Rover Autobiography. In fact, to the casual eye, it looks almost identical. However, underneath the enamel there's a steel-plated armored passenger cell and windows of optical-quality multi-laminated armor privacy glass with a 100 mm (3.9 in) opening in the driver's window for passing documents and very small takeaway orders.

The Sentinel is certified to VR8 standard against ballistic threats by QinetiQ, which means it can withstand 7.62 mm high-velocity, armor-piercing incendiary rounds, 15 kg (33 lb) TNT explosions, and DM51 grenades going off both beneath the floor and on the roof. In addition, there's an anti-tamper exhaust, a self-sealing fuel tank, and an auxiliary back-up battery with a split charging system.

Under the bonnet, the Sentinel sports a 340 bhp, 3-liter V6 supercharged petrol engine with a specially-calibrated ZF 8-speed gearbox, as well as revised Dynamic Stability Control and Ride Stability Control systems that provide the vehicle with the same off-road capabilities as a production Range Rover. This is partly to provide a better chance of escaping in an emergency, but also to address the fact that the owners of such high-security vehicles like to drive them and prefer little or no loss of performance.

In the event of an attack, the special 20-in (50.8-cm) split-rim alloy wheels have run-flat tires as well as 380 mm front and 365 mm rear ventilated disc brakes with high-density pads. If the doors are blocked, there's an emergency escape system behind the rear seats.

Land Rover says that the Sentinel has the same amenities as the standard model including the same rear legroom and Command Driving Position for a clear view of the road. The split-level tailgate is from the standard production vehicle and it can carry a payload of up to 650 kg (1,433 lb). Other features include Blind Spot Monitoring, and Closing Vehicle Sensing and Surround Camera Security with T-junction view.

In terms of options, the Sentinel is available in a choice of liveries was well as Ebony, Ivory, or Dark Cherry interiors with leather headlining. However, these extras also run to under floor and under bonnet fire suppression systems, a customer-configurable siren system, emergency service lights, and an external PA system. A full driver-training program is also available.

"The Range Rover Sentinel is one of the most extraordinary Range Rovers ever produced," says John Edwards, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations. "It has been expertly engineered by Special Vehicle Operations to provide class leading levels of protection to occupants against extreme attack, whilst retaining the Range Rover's luxury and refinement with off road capability."

The Range Rover Sentinel makes its world debut at the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) Exhibition at London's ExCeL arena, which runs from September 15 to 18. It's set to go on sale in the UK, Europe, South America, Africa, and the Middle East for €400,000 (US$446,000), with orders being taken this month.

The video below introduces the Range Rover Sentinel.

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