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What’s on the shopping list of someone who’s already got everything? It has to be the armoured behemoth called the S-Guard
This is the kind of car your friendly (or despotic, as the case may be) head of state uses when driving out to meet his subjects, and this is what the world-weary CEO hops into when travelling through bandit country. Why’s that? Simple, the Mercedes-Benz S-Guard gives you all the comfort that makes the S-Class so legendary, and then ratchets up the exclusivity factor even further by being the safest vehicle this side of a battle tank. An iron fist in a velvet glove? Sounds about right.
Creature comforts? Check
Let’s get the pedestrian stuff out of the way before getting to the interesting part. From the outside, the S-Guard is nigh-on indistinguishable from its civvie-wearing cousin, the S 600. Even on the inside, it’s got everything the ‘standard’ S-Class has, and is plush enough to please even the most finicky and demanding sybarite. The S-Guard also gets a V12 that pushes out 530hp and 830Nm, enough to cart its over-four-tonne load along at speeds you’d think were reserved for lightweight coupes. But that’s just the start.
Safe enough to travel through a war zone? That’d be the S-Guard
The interesting part about this car is, it’s a ‘Special Protection’ model that’s part of Merc’s ‘Guard’ range. You see, the S-Guard meets ‘VR9’ ballistic protection standards. In Hollywood terms, imagine yourself sipping champagne while talking to your stockbroker over a satellite phone while Alfred drives you to your Beverly Hills mansion. And suddenly, a gang of baddies pulls up next to you and opens fire with AK-47s. Unlike what happens in the regular action blockbuster, you could simply keep on sipping your drink, sitting unscathed, while your trusty chauffeur pulls away. Yeah, the S-Guard is impervious to even .44 Magnum bullets (made famous in Dirty Harry) and 7.62mm ammo fired from an AK-47. But that’s not where this car’s armoured prowess ends. You see, the S-Guard is the world’s first civilian vehicle that’s protected from twin underfloor grenade blasts. Then there’s the emergency fresh air system, the automatic fire-fighting system, the Michelin PAX runflat tyres that don’t compromise on the handling, and Night View Assist. Of course, all this doesn’t come cheap – the S-Guard costs a jaw-dropping ₹8.9 crore, ex-showroom!
Mercedes bills the S-Guard as ‘the safest luxury spot on earth’, and it’s probably not too far off. Armoured to the highest standards, and with enough creature comforts to keep you cosseted even when driving through a war zone, this is pretty much what every head of state’s going to want for Christmas.