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The Mercury Cars Guide : August 28th 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au ---15 SAFETY Bulletproof Cars Safe from bombs and bullets IN PASSING IMPREGNABLE: US President Barack Obama's presidental limosine, which is nicknamed The Beast'', above. SLEEK: Jaguar's XJ Sentinel will be revealed at the Moscow International Motor Show later this year. High security vehicles are something most see in the movies, but for those who need protection from heavy artillery, you may need to fork out for one of these. STUART MARTIN reports M ONEY'S no object. You laugh at Lotto winners waving $20 million cheques too small for a coin-toss at your gambling table. When the TV reception at your compound goes on the blink, you ring the control room of your TV network to get it fixed --- no Jim's Antennas fridge magnet in sight. The garage is stocked with enough cars to fill an F1 grid but recent business dealings have made it necessary for you to travel in the rear seats, using a more subtle machine that can withstand a well- funded arsenal. So what can you get to keep the bullets and bombs at bay? Indian- owned British marque Jaguar has released its latest armoured car that doesn't have to look like something from Mad Max or the Gulf War to keep the baddies at bay. But you'll need plenty of cash to get one on the road in Australia, as they have not been homologated for registration --- but if you have enough money to spend, it could probably be done. Jaguar Jaguar's new XJ has had the kevlar treatment and the XJ Sentinel will debut at this year's Moscow International Motor Show. The heavy-duty special edition of the newest Big Cat might be difficult to pick from a crop of XJs, but it claims to provide a ''state-of-the-art armouring package which provides occupants with up to B7 levels of ballistic protection,'' says Jaguar. ''The XJ Sentinel was designed and developed in partnership with industry leaders, and incorporates the very latest armoured vehicle systems to deliver extremely impressive levels of protection, while maintaining a very discreet appearance,'' addes Jaguar managing director Mike O'Driscoll. ''The XJ Sentinel is the ultimate armoured luxury limousine, offering governments, security organisations and private individuals, the highest level of security, with advanced design, refined performance and a beautifully-crafted cabin.'' The Sentinel is based on the long wheelbase version of the new XJ, so the armoured vehicle retains the lightweight aluminium body structure, with high-strength steel and kevlar among the added materials used to protect the passenger cell. Co-developed with specialist armour company Centigon, the XJ Sentinel offers , blast protection against 15kg TNT equivalent detonated within close proximity as well as substantial under-floor grenade protection. It remains powered by the naturally-aspirated 285kW/515Nm five-litre direct-injection V8, which is teamed with the six-speed ZF auto --- despite the protection pack's weight gain it still claims a 0-100km/ h time of 9.7 seconds and a top speed of 195km/h. Audi The new A8 hasn't been unveiled in its Security guise as yet, but the German marque had an A8 W12 long-wheelbase armoured car on offer in the outgoing car. Audi engineers quite literally blew the doors off the world of armoured limos, giving the big A8 an emergency exit system that would not look out of place in the aviation industry. The A8 Security's emergency exit system can, if the doors can no longer be opened normally, remove the doors using a patented pyrotechnic system. The features list also includes flag holders, intercom, flashing rotating and LED lights, runflats and armour plated battery and fuel tank. As for the normal features of a vehicle in this rarefied realm, there's a fax, telephone, video and monitors to allow it to become a fully-functional mobile office. There's also a fire extinguishing system. The passenger cell of the A8 is bullet-proof to B6+/B7 --- apparently able to withstand a 7.62mm bullet, with a fortified floor. The armoured passenger cell made from steel, glass and aramide fabric, with the armour-plating overlapping at all the joints and windows that can still apparently be lowered almost all the way down, something not always found with armoured glass. The A8 L is powered by a 331kW/ 580Nm W12 petrol engine (331 kW /580Nm), the armoured sedan retains the quattro all-wheel drive system. BMW The new 7 Series is available in special-edition High Security versions, with the 760Li and 750Li on offer in BRV 2009 and VR7 protection levels. BMW says the non-transparent body areas of the High Security models offer the ballistic protection level VR9. The BMW models --- built at the Dingolfing plant --- are adapted to compensate for the increased weight, with reinforced suspension, dampers and suspension strut top mounts. The passenger compartment is protected by armour plating of the doors, the roof, the pillars, the front footwell and the separation wall between passenger and luggage compartments, using specially- manufactured steel panels. The undercarriage is armoured by special plating and the sedans also get 6cm thick multi-layer laminated glass, with a polycarbonate layer on the inside to prevent shattered glass particles from getting inside the cabin. There's also a range of options including an intercom system, an assault alarm, fire extinguishing system, an irritant gas sensor system with a self-contained internal fresh-air supply system. Mercedes-Benz Mercedes-Benz has pulled out all the stops for those requiring more than just protection from the elements --- the S 600 Pullman Guard. Powered by the mighty bi-turbo 380kW/830Nm V12 the Pullman Guard has B6/B7 level protection for its occupants, as well as all the mod- cons required by elected leaders and dictators alike. With outputs like that even a 6.4m long limo make haste from a danger zone in short order, while upgraded brakes allow pace to be quickly shed. The passengers get plenty of room thanks to a 4315mm wheelbase --- up 115 centimetres over the normal long-wheelbase S-Class --- with 60mm of extra headroom within an armoured steel protective cell, including ''special'' steels used in the sidewalls and floor. The engineers have revised the air suspension and chassis to cope with added weight in the Pullman Guard. Special security features include a pneumatic emergency control system for the power windows, which operates independently of the on-board electronics, a special- protection fuel tank that reseals itself if perforated by shrapnel, a panic alarm system and an optional rear camera. Mercedes-Benz offers two levels of protection --- High-Protection vehicles are engineered to the European B4 resistance level, enough to protect those inside from large-calibre revolver ammunition, which the company says offers ''particularly good protection against the increasing threat of drug-related and violent street crime''. The Highest-Protection vehicles rise to a resistance level of B6/B7, which increases the level of protection to something approaching a terrorist attack. Potus President Obama's gone down the Cadillac route --- prophetically appropriate given the US government pretty much owns the brand and its parent GM. Weighing in at 2.6 tonnes, the limo is powered by a 6.5-litre diesel engine that gets it to 60mph in 15 seconds. The Cadillac carries four people in the back, with a glass partition to keep state secrets just that --- secret. The President has a panic button, a fold-away desktop, laptop with wi- fi, satphone and direct link to the VP and the Pentagon. The car has self-contained oxygen supply, firefighting system, thick armour-plated doors, night-vision cameras, shotguns in door-mounted holsters, bottles of Type-Obama blood and a steel plate under the floor. The tyres are kevlar-reinforced but have steel rims within so mobility is maintained even without the tyres. 281 Main Road, Glenorchy Phone: 6213 3420 Hans Kerkvliet 0411 174 411 Robert Heuke 0438 289 277 2WD $17,990. Drive away. Features -- 1,200 kg payload, alloy tray, airbags, alloy wheels, ABS brakes, air conditioning, electric windows, CD/radio, 3-year/100,000 km warranty... Great. Metallic paint $350 extra. The new Great Wall V240 single cab has arrived! 4WD $20,990. Drive away. Metallic paint $350 extra. F A 3
August 14th 2010
September 11th 2010