The standard Mercedes S600 already offers just about everything a plutocrat could want from an ultra-luxurious car.
But there are parts of the world where being a plutocrat is a dangerous business, so Mercedes has come up with the S600 Guard, the latest generation of armoured Mercedes S-Class.
The S-Guard is the first car to be fully certified for VR9-level protection. The bodyshell has been reinforced, cavities between the body panels and frame have been filled with protective materials, joints are double-welded, the glass is 10mm thick and so it goes on.
Mercedes hasn’t said exactly what sort of weapons the S-Guard can resist, but it should be able to repell any attack by the average band of baddies. Should the worst happen, there’s a panic alarm, fire extinguisher and emergency fresh air supply.
Of course, most of the time the S-Guard won’t be acting as a mobile bomb shelter, so it has to serve as a limo as well. You can spec it as a living room, an office, or a business class airline seat. Actually, probably not that last one, but if you ask nicely enough…
Mechanically, the S-Guard is unchanged over the standard S600, with a 6.0-litre V12 engine that produces 523bhp and 612lb/ft of torque. With all the extra weight, probably 1,500kg or so, performance has inevitably been blunted, but it’s still plenty quick enough. Though the weight means the top speed is limited 130mph.
The suspension and brakes have been suitably beefed up, and it now rolls on Michelin PAXZ run-flat tyres.
Mercedes has not revealed a price for the S600 Guard, but you can expect the standard S600’s £139,985 list price to at least double. Mercedes also offers armoured Guard versions of the E-, M- and G-Class.