You don’t reach S-Class levels of opulence without making a few enemies. And if said enemies harbour homicidal tendencies then, well…good luck with that, right? Wrong. Mercedes-Benz’ Guard division has worked parallely with the car maker to create nigh invincible, bullet-proof versions of some of their biggest sellers right off the assembly line. Their pièce de résistance? The all new S600 Guard.
Mercedes-Benz say that the latest S600 Guard is the safest luxury car in the world. The new S600 Guard, yours for Rs 8.6 crore (ex-Delhi) is the kingpin of the Guard vehicles currently available, which includes the M, E, and G Guard models, all of which range from VR4 to VR7 levels of protection.
They base this on the fact that the car is the only security vehicle in the world to attain VR9 level of security. Having received one of the highest levels of security certification for civilians, the car can shrug off full metal jacket, armour piercing rounds from various angles and includes other security features like an automatic fire suppression system and an underbody armour to protect the vehicle from explosives. The boffins at Merc have made sure that the car can run for a good 30 km (at 80 kph) even after the tyres have been taken out in an explosion.
Since giving away its unique attributes would defeat the purpose, there are no outward sign that indicate this is an armoured vehicle. The S600 Guard’s cabin is essentially a complex matrix of reinforced steel and fibre, with thick laminated glass with a polycarbonate coating that’s about an inch thick and can withstand repetitive blows. Given that this is possibly the safest non-military, luxury car out there which doesn’t compromise on world-class comfort, the curb weight totals up to over 4.5 tonnes. Think of this car as a standard V12 sporting S-Class with an E-Class thrown on top of it and you’ll understand why the S-Guard is only available with a V12. Perhaps the most stressed member of the entire vehicle, the 530 bhp V12 can propel the car into triple digit speeds reasonably quickly, but not with the urgency of a regular unencumbered V12. Acceleration in this case is a tool that must enable a swift escape – this is not a car you drive for thrills, unless you’re a pyromaniac.
There are other structural changes that have been made to accommodate the bulk. The air suspension has been made stiffer with reinforced dampers and the brake discs are larger. Its composure was demonstrated by Merc test drivers taking it around a slalom course at the Buddh International Circuit. Replace the road cones with imaginary landmines and throw in a few projectiles and you start to see why this is the car you should be in when the going gets really bad.