The driver and passenger are fully secure and undamaged within. A luxury cocoon while the automobile speeds across the countryside, evading sniper fire and surviving explosions. While for the most of us that would be a scenario from a fast-paced espionage film. For a select few it would be real life, and that is precisely what the Mercedes-Benz S 680 Guard was designed for.
This automobile has the highest ballistic certification for civilian cars. VPAM VR 10, which makes it both bulletproof and explosive charge resistant. But before Mercedes will let you have the S Guard, you must undergo a comprehensive investigation and meet specific requirements. But I was fortunate enough to get to know what it’s like to be an unstoppable VVIP for a day.
Exterior, Bullet-Proof Elements of the Mercedes-Benz S 680 Guard
When viewed from a distance, it is difficult to distinguish it from the standard S-Class. As you get near, minute details reveal it. The S 680 emblem at the back, the alloy wheels and the thicker window frames. As well as the side flag holders made of shining chrome.
Even though the automobile may have a standard S-Class interior and exterior. Every tiny aspect was designed with passenger safety in mind. The S Guard would never have a sunroof or a keyless entry system that may be compromised. No fancy flush handles will ever take the place of traditional ones, and powerful steel brakes guarantee timely stops.
So what else contributes to this vehicle’s weight and invincibility? But, this time, a body shell of protective materials has been designed for the passenger compartment. Unlike prior Guard vehicles where protective components were incorporated into the normal body shell. Nevertheless, the engine bay and boot are not completely redesigned since it is not essential and would have added weight. This is also an intriguing first for a Guard vehicle to have all-wheel drive. They installed a V12 with 612 horsepower and 830 Nm of torque to make sure the 4.2 tonnes had enough power to move it forward.
The multi-layer glass that is bullet- and blast-proof and seems to be 3.5 to 4 inches thick with a polycarbonate layer on the interior for splinter protection is what keeps the passengers secure in addition to this body armour. Each door weighs around 250 kg as a result of this and the unique body shell required to protect the occupants. There are actuators that help opening and closing so that bodyguards may open and close these large doors with ease. The door is also held open by the actuators. Preventing it from closing abruptly under the weight of the automobile if the road is inclined.
Engine, Performance, And Handling Of The Mercedes-Benz S 680 Guard
I got to experience what it’s like to operate this 4.2-tonne armoured vehicle as though I were in one of those movie chases up in the Tyrolean mountain region on a snowy, icy test track. Comparative braking tests between the ordinary S-Class and the S Guard started the day. Although the effects of the additional 2 tonnes of weight become apparent immediately. Particularly during acceleration and stopping distances, the real difference is astonishingly minor. Especially on the slick, icy track, I anticipated the armoured vehicle to slide for a lot longer while using the brakes.
Later on in the day, the stakes were raised when we had to drive over a “Kick Plate,” which is a computer-controlled, hydraulically-actuated plate that is flush with the road surface and intended to cause a loss of rear tyre traction, spinning or skidding the vehicle. The goal is to respond fast and catch the slide because the driver has no idea which way the rear will push out. Imagine yourself at the helm of a 4.2-tonne vehicle that abruptly loses control on a terrain with very little traction. To react, you need to have lightning-fast reflexes.
What is amazing is that the titanic-like automobile regains stability. With an ease you cannot imagine when you are quick enough with the counter steer. The goal, according to Mercedes-Benz, was to make the armoured car as dynamically similar to the S-Class as feasible. I’m confident that they have. Being covert is the greatest way to be safe. Therefore they also tried to make it as opulent and similar-looking as they could.
Interior of Mercedes-Benz S 680 Guard
The cabin is essentially identical to the S Class, speaking of which. Mercedes-Benz made a concerted effort to guarantee that the passenger will experience the same degree of luxury they are accustomed to, even with the substantial armour. It feels like you are deep within a castle when the massive doors are closed. Absolute stillness prevails, and in place of sunshades, black-out curtains entirely block off the outside world. With the chauffeur package, wireless charging. The tablet for internet or controls, and everything else required. VVIPs may stretch out in the back seat’s rear compartment in the ultimate luxury.
The window area is somewhat smaller, and when you lower the centre armrest. It transforms into a charging hub with several Type-C connectors, which is the only noticeable difference. The centre console up front is a touch odd as well. Including vintage coloured buttons similar to those in a cockpit. While they stand out as rudimentary in this otherwise opulent cabin. Having these readily accessible, lighted buttons is vital for safety. These make it possible for the driver, especially while under pressure, to easily activate the intercom, in-cabin lighting, deploy the extinguisher, or fill the fresh air tank.
I was informed that while the S Guard has a significant degree of customizability accessible, notably for communication systems, these basic features are designed in to provide the highest levels of safety.
Safety Characteristics of the Mercedes-Benz S 680 Guard
It’s interesting to note that several elements that are deemed “safety” on the ordinary S-Class, such pinch-guard windows that would cease working if a hand got in the way, are deemed hazardous in this vehicle. Here, even if the on-board power source malfunctions, the window will still shut. To ensure that once in motion, a door won’t stop for anything. Each door contains a device made up of a compressor and a pressure accumulator.
This is to guarantee the passenger’s safety in the event of a failed attack. But, even for communication with the outside world, it is actually not necessary to open the windows at all for further preventative safety. The driver uses a few buttons on the centre console to control the on-board intercom system. They would let you converse with or listen to anyone outside the vehicle.
The S Guard tyres are approximately twice as heavy as conventional tyres and are also carefully made. This is because the automobile may still be driven for 30 more kilometres at a speed of 80 kph even in the event of a probable flat or risky circumstance thanks to an additional inner layer.
When you open the trunk, the S-Class appears typical—wide and deep—until you remove the back cover to reveal what appears to be a laboratory. Back at you are tanks and pipelines. In the event of a gas attack, the yellow tank will release up to 900 litres of fresh air into the cabin. The driver may activate this by pressing a button on the centre console, which will close all exterior vents before bringing in fresh air. The fire extinguisher is located in the red tank and may be used to put out a fire within the cabin.
Verdict on the Mercedes-Benz S 680 Guard
After driving the S Guard for a day, I undoubtedly felt more significant and was astounded by how well the performance, gearbox, and suspension have been adjusted to handle the added weight. They enable this combat tank-like vehicle to feel as similar to a standard S-Class as is practical. Although the laws of physics cannot be changed, I believe Mercedes has sufficiently twisted them to provide the greatest levels of luxury and protection available.
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