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Important people make decisions, decisions don’t please everyone, angry people resort to violence. That’s why high-security versions of limos are made, to shield and protect VIPs from angry folks and their deeds. This is the Audi A8 L Security that “meets the highest level of criteria that apply to civilian vehicles.”

Barely distinguishable from the regular facelifted A8 L, the A8 L Security, powered by either a 4.0 TFSI or W12 FSI, was in Audi’s plans right from the outset, resulting in an integral overall concept that is superior to retrofit solutions, it is claimed. The aluminium-bodied, quattro permanent AWD-equipped limo is the lightest in its small segment.

This car is officially certified by the German Ballistics Testing Center in Munich; it complies with the requirements of the class VR 7 ballistic protection standard in accordance with the BRV (Bullet Resistant Vehicles) 2009 guideline. Class VR 7 means that the body panels and glazing of the passenger cell must withstand firing from NATO sub-caliber ammunition.

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In certain areas, the armour plating on the A8 L Security even complies with the criteria for the classes VR 9 and VR 10. Resistance to explosives is tested in accordance with the ERV 2010 guideline (Explosion Resistant Vehicles). The armor-plated vehicle floor can withstand attack by military hand grenades.

The occupant cell, which is integrated into the body as a unitary element, features heat-formed armour steel, aramide fabric, ceramic, a special aluminum alloy, and multi-laminated glass. The protective materials overlap at transitions for maximum security.

For glass, Audi uses special glass with a splinter-inhibiting polycarbonate layer on the inside. As an option, there are electromechanical side windows that almost fully open the panes. A doorstop function holds the door in any desired position.

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On the options list is a patented emergency exit system. If the driver or rear passenger presses a sealed switch while pulling one of the inside door handles, pyrotechnic fracture bolts in the hinges detach the door from the body so that it can then be opened with a light push.

Another option is the fire extinguisher system, which is activated at the press of a button or by heat sensor. Supplied through pipes on the underbody from two tanks fitted in the trunk, nozzles spray it into the wheel arches, onto the underbody and tank, and into the engine compartment.

Order books for the Audi A8 L Security W12 are now open, with deliveries starting in the third quarter of 2014. Audi provides extensive services to support its A8 L Security VIP customers with special training for drivers and owners.