dailymail: German luxury car tuner Brabus has taken a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and cladded it in armoured steel to create a blast-resistant SUV that will keep the most under-threat individuals safe from attack.
Prices – including VAT – start from around £440,000 for the cheapest of the three Brabus Invicto armoured Mercs, with the priciest ringing in at a whopping £645,600 including VAT – and the heavies in the images are not included in that price.
The Mercedes, popular with footballers and celebrities, already costs £90,000, but then Brabus replaces the bodywork with a ‘self-contained, self-supporting, bolted structural Shelter Cell’ that can withstand AK47 gunfire and military-grade explosive blasts to create a tank-like mobile panic room for the highest level targets with plenty of cash in their pocket.
The shell itself is made from hot-formed armoured steel but also includes 3D-printed protected parts – the first time such features have been combined on a passenger vehicle, unsurprisingly.
How protective is it? Enough to survive a 15kg TNT blast, earning the Invicto an ‘VR6-plus level Explosion Resistance Vehicle’ rating. The manufacturer claims to have tested this on a number of occasions (gulp!).
The beefed-up Brabus will laugh in the face of single-round hand-pistol gunfire, and can even take the brunt of an AK47 emptying an entire magazine of bullets onto it.
The German car customising firm says the Shelter Cell is entirely resistant because – unlike most vehicles – it doesn’t have any panel gaps and it’s fitted with bulletproof and shatter-resistant glass in defence against the deadliest of sharp-shooting snipers. Sounds good enough to us.
Christian Draser, chief executive at Brabus, explains: ‘We have the entire vehicle certified by an accredited German ballistics authority, both with regard to being fired upon and being subjected to explosions as per resistance class VR6 Plus ERV.’
All of this armour comes at a cost, though – and we’re not just talking about the account-emptying price tag.
All this protection adds around a tonne to the G-Wagen’s already hefty kerbweight.
That said, Brabus has accounted for this with new suspension and brakes to cope with the additional bulk – and it’s 550-horsepower V8 AMG-tuned engine from the G63 is far from sloth-like.
The Invicto Mission – the most protective and expensive of the three options – gets a Brabus performance kit including its own pair of turbochargers to replace the Merc standard parts and an uprated sports exhaust for an extra kick of power.
Even with all the extra weight, Brabus claims it will accelerate from 0-to-60mph in 11 second and has a top speed of 130mph – that’s quicker than any army tank we can think of.
And it will even escape at speed with the tyres shot out, as the off-road run-flats fitted to the Invicto can be driven on for around 30 miles even when they’ve been punctured by gun shots.
The Mission – priced at £645,600 for UK customers – gets its name because it’s made for ‘missions and more’, and is the one you really want.
It gets the full quota of armoured spec, including door panels and seat backs made from stab-resistant woven nylon that’s usually exclusive to the armed forces and tactical police, a digital rear display mirror so your bodyguard driver can spot any covert attacks from behind, and seats that are redesigned specifically for people to be wearing bulletproof vests.
Over half a million quid also gets you high-performance lightning and signal systems, an integrated fire extinguishing setup, built-in infra-red night vision cameras, military-grade sat-nav system, fresh air vents with ABC filters to resist attacks from airborne substances (we’re not sure if this includes Covid-19) and even an armoured escape hatch in the roof if the final resort is to decamp and make a run for it.
If you want something a little more stealth, the entry-level version – called the Invicto Pure – looks almost like a standard G-Wagen and costs £442,495 for UK buyers.
That’s some £60,000 more than Range Rover’s Sentinel. The a 3.5-tonne armour-plated SUV was launched last year with a price tag of £380,000 for a vehicle designed to safe-guard dignitaries and A-listers.
It is cheaper than Volvo’s recently released XC90 Armoured, though, which costs £450,000 and also gets an escape hatch for the target to creep through the boot compartment to safety.
Sitting between the Brabus Invicto Mission and Pure is the mid-spec Luxury, which costs around £562,000 including VAT and doesn’t get the full list of attack-evading features.
If you’re on the run right now, you might need to get in touch with Brabus today as these are all being built to order.
Source: Published by dailymail