Important diplomats and dignitaries, your car has arrived – the covers have been pulled off the new Mercedes-Benz S 600 Guard, based on the latest W222 S-Class. The company claims its latest armoured vehicle provides unrivalled protection in the segment.
Forget the VR 7-class protection that has become the norm in cars such as the Audi A8 L Security and BMW 7 Series High Security – the S 600 Guard is the first vehicle to achieve full VR 9 ballistic protection certification for both transparent and non-transparent areas in accordance to version 2 of the Bullet Resistant Vehicles (BRV) 2009 guideline. It also meets Explosion Resistant Vehicles (ERV) 2010 requirements.
Special steel components are integrated into the cavities between the body structure and the outer skin during the bodyshell stage, and aramide and polyethylene components provide additional splinter protection. Intelligent overlapping systems at critical points of the armour ensure that nothing gets through in between the bulletproof panels.
Not to be neglected are the glass areas, which are coated with polycarbonate on the inside to protect against splinters. Special attention has also been paid to choosing the right materials and thicknesses in the glass area for maximum protection. The underbody is almost completely protected by explosion-resistant armour, which Mercedes claims is a first in the segment.
The S 600 Guard is powered by the regular S 600’s 6.0 litre twin-turbo V12 engine producing 523 hp and 830 Nm. No acceleration figures have been released, but the top speed has been limited to 210 km/h due to the car’s undoubtedly enormous weight.
AIRMATIC adjustable air suspension comes as standard, and its components have been reinforced and uprated to deal with the added heft, including the fitment of stronger air springs in front and additional steel springs at the rear. Also revised are settings for the ESP and Acceleration Skid Control (ASR), while the suspension level control now also takes into consideration the Guard’s reduced ground clearance.
The brakes have also received a serious upgrade, with six-pot callipers at the front and larger discs all around. Michelin PAX run-flat tyres with a tyre pressure monitoring system allows the S 600 Guard to escape from the danger zone up to a distance of 30 km even with damaged tyres.
The S 600 Guard is offered with in a choice of four- or five-seater layouts for the first time in the segment, and features a 350 litre boot. Of course, being an S-Class, it offers all the mod-cons of its civilian brethren, including heating and massage functions for the rear seats, a leg rest for the rear seat behind the front passenger and an Air Balance package that includes air fragrance, ionisation and filtering.
The company also offers a number of optional extras specific for the Guard, including opaque window roller blinds, a panic alarm system, a fire extinguisher system with automatic activation, an emergency fresh air system, hydraulic operation for the heavy side windows, and a special cooling compartment at the rear.
And of course, what would a Mercedes be without the requisite safety features? Being based on the W222, the Guard is available with a host of the company’s latest safety systems, including Driver Assistance Package Plus, Night View Assist Plus and 360-degree view camera.