Whenever we write or talk about armored vehicles, we always mention the Mercedes-Benz Guard Car. We fail to note that there are other Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that produce and sell armored vehicles.
At least four other vehicle manufacturers make armored vehicles.
The first-mentioned is the Audi A8 L Security vehicle.
Audi A8 L Security is an armored sedan that combines the incredible luxury of the A8 L that complies with a VR9 protection rating.
According to AUDI, converting a standard A8 L to the Security spec takes around 400 hours and is powered by the twin-turbo 4.0-liter from the S8 Audi.
The L stands for long wheelbase, which means that the vehicle’s wheelbase has been extended, allowing for more legroom in the rear; the A8 L extends the wheelbase 5.1 inches longer than the standard vehicle.
According to the company press releases, the security version of the A8 meets the requirements of the VR 9 resistance; the car doesn’t come cheap its price is $750,000.
Audi A8 L Security W12 armored car – driven on track (video)
Audi launches the new armored Audi A8 L Security
BMW armors the BMW X5 SUV. It is called BMW Protection and is armored to VR6. It is hard to distinguish the armored version from a standard model – neither from the outside nor inside.
Additionally, this vehicle is certified according to the ERV 2010 and PAS 300 guidelines. We will be covering the PAS 300 Armored vehicle testing Guidelines in a future podcast episode and blog post.
The BMW & 7 Series Protection vehicle is not displayed on their website other than a picture under the diplomatic tab; we are not sure if that means they do not sell them to the open public.
If you Google BMW & Protection, you will get an abundance of information.
Range Rover Sentinel
Range Rover Sentinel is another OEM Armored vehicle. Their website does not supply much information about the vehicle other than to contact them. Most of the articles written about the vehicle use words like bombproof and bulletproof.
An article we found while researching states that the Sentinel takes the latest Range Rover model and adds armor plating and a full suite of safety features and gadgets that would make Britan’s own 007 proud. Composite and steel armor plating provides protection from small arms fire and explosive devices in accordance with international standards. That adds over 2,200 pounds to the SUV, but a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 and upgraded suspension and brakes help offset some of the weight gains. Run-flat tires allow for driving on damaged rubber for over 30 miles at speeds of up to 50 MPH. For those with a dangerous daily commute, the Range Rover Sentinel offers world-class luxury and protection.
The last OEM is the Volvo XC90 Armored (Heavy)
The Volvo website says that the heavy-armored Volvo XC90 SUV provides unrivaled comfort and safety while offering the highest level of personal protection (VPAM VR8 ballistic and explosive certification).
The site goes to mention that the Volvo XC90 Armored is the result of a close collaboration with one of the world’s leading armored vehicle suppliers, TRASCO-Bremen GmbH.
Volvo also offers the XC90 and XC60 in a Light Armored Version
Volvo offers the SUVs XC90 and XC60 with light armoring that provide certified ballistic protection according to the stringent American NIJ-IIIA standards. This makes these SUVs the perfect choice for private customers who need extra protection and security services, and police forces in their tactical operations.
The complete SUV is certified according to American NIJ-IIIA standards combined with VPAM BRV 2009 for light armored vehicles. We secure the functionality on all parts and safety systems.
If you know of other OEM’s that manufacture armored vehicles – let us know.