The bullet-proof Range Rover Vogue

The bullet-proof Range Rover Vogue
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March 28, 2007 Most luxury vehicle manufacturers have been quietly producing armoured versions of their range for special private customers for years, with Mercedes Benz the most prolific and high profile and the Combat T98, International MXT-MVA and Rhino Runner the most extreme. Whereas once it was considered gauche to advertise such services, and companies were content to have the most influential people seen in their vehicles, marketing imperatives are now being brought to bear and the world’s prestige manufacturers all seem to be adding an armoured model to their range. Now Range Rover will add a fully-armoured Vogue to the range, designed to resist attack from machine gun or hand grenade while its four-wheel drive chassis and off-road ground clearance allows a quick getaway from attack or ambush. Unlike conventional armoured limousines, the Range Rover Vogue Security Vehicle can be driven across all terrains, including unforgiving urban obstacles like high kerbs or even steep steps. Its broad shouldered strength also allows it to be driven at and through obstacles such as gates or even walls.

In an attack, the Range Rover Vogue's armour and its go anywhere ability can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Developed by Land Rover Special Vehicles as an integral part of the new Range Rover Vogue programme, the Range Rover Vogue Security Vehicle is the first armoured Land Rover vehicle to be offered as a production model. In future, there will be greater availability of other armoured Land Rover products as well as high security models from other marques in the Premier Automotive Group, all developed to the same exacting standards.

The new high security Range Rover Vogue will be available to four levels of security, the first three offering protection from attack by hand-gun, assault rifle or high velocity rifle.

The ultimate version provides protection against armour piercing to European B6 plus standard, and is capable of withstanding attack from a NATO 7.62 ball round fired from 10 metres at a typical velocity of 830 metres per second. B6 plus standard, favoured by Heads of State and other diplomatic, political and religious 'targets', also protects against attack by weapons including the Kalashnikov AK47 rifle.

Also available will be a Range Rover Vogue Security Vehicle built to B4 standard, which protects against attack from a .44 Magnum handgun using flat nose, full metal jacket, soft core ammunition at a typical velocity of 440 metres per second.

On all vehicles, the floor pan is protected to defeat the simultaneous detonation of two DM51 hand grenades rolled in its path. Improved protection to L2A2 hand grenade level is available as an option.

Armouring materials used range from ballistic and blast steel to carbon weave materials such as Kevlar as well as non-metallic materials such as Spectra-shield and Dyneema. The glass is plasma cut, fixed on all four doors and up to 40mm thick to withstand attack - the thickness of the glass is virtually the only visual external clue to an armoured Range Rover Vogue.

Great attention to detail ensures that occupants will not be affected by 'splash', the term given to shrapnel - often molten metal - that can penetrate the body via potentially vulnerable spots such as door shuts or handles and injure or kill occupants. Overlaps on doors are specially designed to prevent splash entering the passenger compartment.

Added protection has been given to the vehicle's fuel tank and battery while the tyres all have run flat capability. A heavy duty jack and strengthened jacking points are also fitted.

Development work has been carried out by Land Rover Special Vehicles working closely with one of the world's leading armouring specialist companies, Armour Holdings Group, that includes O'Gara Hess and Labbe. Testing of the vehicle's armouring is being carried out by QinetiQ, an independent scientific company that was formally an integral part of DERA, the British Government's Defence Establishment Research Agency.

Adding as much as two tons of armour takes the vehicle's all-up weight to nearly 3.5 tons. To ensure that it still behaves like a Range Rover Vogue, vehicle development experts Prodrive Ltd have extensively retuned the air suspension, chassis and braking systems to cope with the extra weight and the demands likely to be placed on the Range Rover Vogue.

A comprehensive list of options takes the protection offered by the Range Rover Vogue Security Vehicle to even greater levels. They include an internal oxygen system, darkened glass and an intercom. Covert emergency lights and a siren are also available. Other options are available to meet customer's specific requirements.

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