Mercedes-Benz has revealed a new armoured member in their S-Class family, the S 600 Guard. It is the first vehicle to be certified with the level of resistance class VR9 which is rated as the Highest-Protection vehicle, so the S 600 Guard should be able to withstand rifle fire from military weapons. Mercedes-Benz claims that the S 600 Guard also meets the requirements of Explosive Resistant Vehicles 2010 (ERV2010) and the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation.
Looking (almost) indistinguishable from any normal S-Class, the S 600 Guard is designed as such to be as discreet as possible. Potential customers are instead will be more concerned on how the S 600 Guard can protect the occupants inside.
The base structure has been reinforced for additional strength, and the cavities between the body structure and the outer skin have been integrated with protective components of special steel. For the first time, almost the entire underbody of the S 600 Guard is covered with innovative underbody armouring for protection against explosive devices. Splinter protection is provided with the use of special aramide and PE components while to further ensure the amount of protection, there’s an intelligent overlapping systems between the panels. There’s also splinter protection from the all the windows on the S 600 Guard, as the glass used are coated with polycarbonate on the inside.
The interior of the S 600 Guard remains the same as the normal S-Class. It comes with everything the normal S-Class has, which contains the heated rear seats with massage function, PRE-SAFE® belt tensioners and beltbags, Business telephony, and interior air fragrancing with air filtering and ionisation. Customers are able to configure their S 600 Guard as either a full 5-seater or a 4-seater with optional all-round opaque roller blinds for maximum privacy.
Additionally on the S 600 Guard there are controls in the center console for the technology accommodated in the boot, such as the fresh air supply and emergency start battery in case of emergency, and even buttons to listen or talk to the outside world since the car is very thickly armoured. Speaking about the boot, there’s a fire extinguisher fitted in the 350-litre boot.
To cope with the additional equipments fitted, the S 600 Guard is powered by 6.0-litre V12 biturbo powerplant with 530 hp and 830 Nm of torque, and the V12 engine is paired with the 7G-TRONIC transmission for the first time in the S 600 Guard. The top speed is limited to 210 km/h which is possibly due to the increased heft. Although Mercedes-Benz didn’t mention about the 0-100 km/h sprint time, they merely quoted “impressive acceleration” from the 7-speed gearbox.
AIRMATIC air suspension comes as standard on the S 600 Guard. To cope with the increased weight of the vehicle, the suspension components have been recalibrated, the front air springs are reinforced, and the rear axle comes with additional steel springs. In the braking department, larger discs are fitted all-round and the front brakes are armed with 6-pot calipers. Meanwhile Michelin PAX run-flat tyres are fitted as standard and they can even travel up to 30 km when they are damaged.
Other driving assistance systems offered on the S 600 Guard includes DISTRONIC PLUS with Stop&Go Pilot, BAS PLUS Brake, Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist, PRE-SAFE® Brake with pedestrian recognition and ESP®, and Night View Assist Plus. No specific price has been announced, but expect to pay a premium over the standard S 600, considering the comprehensive protection the S 600 Guard has to offer.