The S600 Guard, a new addition to the S-Class range, owing to its extensively detailed armor, offers the highest level of protection against the wide range of threats a modern head of state might have to face.
The vehicle is jam-packed with armor. The first alteration Mercedes has made to the standard S-Class is the fitting of special reinforced steel between car’s structure and bodywork, to completely protect the body-shell and its interior from ballistics that include rockets or gunfire. Supplementing this arrangement are the aramid components designed to offer further protection against weapons that splinter.
Structural weakness has also been dealt with by strategically overlapping panels in order to reinforce potential weak spots. Going down the checklist of the potential dangers the passengers might have to face, splintering glass holds its position as a major threat. As a consequence, the S600 Guard is equipped with laminated thickened glass with polycarbonate coating.
Explosives cease to be a threat for most key components of the vehicle because of the armor plating.
These features, as Mercedes claims, will provide protection against explosives even at the shortest possible range, which is why it has been awarded the ‘highest possible rating for protection against ballistics’ (VR9).
If we are talking about ferrying dignitaries here, protection is necessary but subtlety is equally important. Although the S600 Guard has been engineered to resemble the S-Class physically and dynamically, the flags and the flashing lights give away the presence of someone important.
The interior of the vehicle provides most of the driver aids, which Mercedes has to offer with its standard S-Class including some extra interior features such as a rear-seat office.
Realizing the strain the brakes would have to deal with due to all the additional weight, the standard vehicle’s brake calipers have been changed to six piston units, which further clamp on relatively larger brake discs up front. The rear brakes are also larger in dimensions compared to those on the standard S-Class. Moreover, the wheels are enveloped in specially designed run-flat tires, which allow for the car to travel 30 km (19 miles) in difficult situations even while damaged.
The Guard is powered a 390 kW (530 hp) V12 beast of engine, which has a peak torque of 830 Nm (612 lb/ft). The V12 is exactly what is needed to power a heavily armored car like the S600 Guard for a smooth drive. Power is put down by Mercedes’ 7G-TRONIC automatic, and it allows for a maximum speed of about 210 km/h (130 mph).
Mercedes has withheld pricing details as of yet, but by the looks of things, we should probably expect a major premium over a standard S-Class.