As President Aquino himself pointed out in his recent State of the Nation Address, our streets aren’t that safe anymore. As private individuals, we have to be more careful when we're out in public. Now, if you're a private individual with desirable wealth, Mercedes-Benz has a proposition for you.
In case you didn't know, Mercedes has a special lineup of vehicles that are armored straight from the factory. This means that the integration of protection and safety features is seamless. The German carmaker calls these unique models the Guard range. The latest Benz entry to this range is the S600 Guard, based on the newest S-Class.
The improvements to the regular S-Class begin at the bodyshell stage, where special steel is integrated into cavities between the body structure and the outer skin. Providing additional splinter protection are special aramid fibers. To shield the glass portions of the vehicle--which are usually the most vulnerable areas--these transparent bits are coated with polycarbonate on the inside, yet they still retain outstanding visual characteristics thanks to their laminated structure.
All these preparations not only protect against ballistic threats, but also against explosive devices. If a splintering explosive charge is fired at close range on either side, Mercedes claims the occupants will still be well-protected. With this secure system, the S600 Guard has been certified for the highest ballistic protection available, a status called VR9. At this level, this Benz can withstand hits from long firearms.
Perhaps one of the best features of the S600 Guard is discretion. On the outside, it looks like a regular S-Class. This allows you to call less attention to yourelf. On the inside, the S600 Guard retains all the luxury and comfort you expect from a Mercedes flagship, including the spacious legroom the S-class is known for.
If the occupant has to escape from a threat, the 530hp and 830Nm generated by the V12 engine is enough to move the S600 Guard away quickly. For weight reasons, however, the top speed is electronically limited to 210kph. Standard equipment on this car are Michelin run-flat tires with a tire-pressure monitoring system.
To cope with the integrated armor, the air suspension has been reinforced with stronger front air springs, and additional steel springs at the rear axle. The front and rear brakes have also been upgraded to handle the extra weight.
In addition, the S600 Guard has optional features that are not available on the standard S-Class. These include a panic alarm system, a fire extinguisher with automatic activation, an emergency fresh-air system to protect occupants from smoke or gases, and hydraulic power for the thick side windows.
Mercedes says that all its service centers worldwide are able to service, maintain and carry out any necessary repairs for the Guard models. Also, a representative from local MB distributor CATS Motors says that the S600 Guard is available in our market by indent.
So far, no price has been announced for this armored S600. But for the VIPs the S600 Guard is designed for, no amount should be too high for personal safety.