Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Guard in the driving report

Daimler AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars
Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Guard in the handling test
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S Hiding behind an overturned table to avoid the hail of bullets from his attackers only works in the film: For example, a .44 Magnum revolver bullet races through eight conventional car doors. After the eighth door, it's hardly any slower than before the first, explains Markus Nast from Mercedes Driver Training. The maximum projectile energy of a .44 Magnum is 1,500 joules - nothing compared to the more than twice as high energy of a 7.62 × 54 mm R projectile, which is fired, for example, with the Russian Dragunow sniper rifle. The Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Guard with certification in accordance with protection class VR10 according to the BRV 2009 version 2 (BRV: Bullet Resistant Vehicles) guideline is now equipped against this sniper fire.

There is currently no other series model on the market that meets the requirements for VR10. The designers of the S-Class have to consider the tank versions of their vehicles from the outset so that, for example, there is no loss of space in the interior when tanking them later. And the armor has to fulfill two opposing protective mechanisms: inflexible materials help against projectiles, flexible materials against explosions. The protection against blast attacks is documented by the fulfillment of the ERV 2010 standard (ERV: Explosive Resistant Vehicles, vehicles resistant to explosions), some of the test criteria of which are not freely accessible. The underbody of the armored S-Class is made of a steel-aramid-ceramic mixture. What the armor can withstand to the maximum is not disclosed - after all, it should not be made easy for potential attackers.

Daimler AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars
With a little Exercise, evasive maneuvers work safely on slippery surfaces with the good-natured 4.6-ton truck.

Mercedes S-Guard: Just a civilian vehicle

It is also clear that the protection is primarily intended against attacks in civil life. Weapons that would be successful against the Leopard 2 main battle tank, for example, would of course have an easy time against an armored civilian vehicle. Markus Nast explains that the S-Class Guard represents the maximum amount of armor that is possible with a vehicle without it looking like a military tank. And in fact, you have to look carefully to distinguish the armored S-Class from its conventional model siblings: The black edges of the front and rear windows are thicker, and the windows shimmer bluish in certain lighting conditions. A high-speed camera films how rifle ammunition hits the car at defined points in the Ulm Shelling Office. The fountains of glass crumbs spray meters from the side windows of the armored Mercedes S-Class. Not a single piece of glass should end up inside the car. In addition, the interior of the S-Class is hung with white cloths - if traces of smoke can be seen on these cloths, the test is considered to have failed. The hardest part is armoring the windows - and these not only make the car heavy, they also shift its center of gravity upwards.

The Michelin wheels (PAX 225-720 R490 117H) bead into them The rim over, as additional steel rings ensure that the tires do not slip off the rim even when they are flat. Hidden by the tire: In the middle of the rim sits a hard rubber ring that allows you to continue driving with tattered tires - this technology cannot be compared with a conventional run-flat system.

Opening the doors, each weighing 160 kilograms, is required Force. If the car is so inclined that a door has to be opened a little upwards, a trained arm is required. The safety instructors warn: Never open these doors while driving. When stopped, they would follow the inertia with their 160 kilograms and could damage the reinforced hinges. And another warning: anyone who closes the approximately seven centimeter thick side windows should not stick their fingers between the window and the frame - there is no safety stop, the windows simply move up as far as they will go. However, an armored vehicle with open side windows is no longer an armored vehicle, which means that the windows should usually remain closed. The view through the thick windshield, the weight of which has increased tenfold from 13 kilograms in series production to 130 kilograms,is revealing: outside everything looks a bit cloudy and darker - but the view is still good for several layers of special glass and foil. At the lower right and left edges, the driver gets a strongly distorted picture of the surroundings. Long night drives will be a bit tiring with such a view. And: As robust as the windows are on the outside, they are sensitive on the inside: The last inner protective film must not come into contact with chemical cleaning agents or be scratched if the driver, for example, puts his arm on the window sill and does this with his watch Touches a window - then the car loses its protection class.

James Bond device

Under a flap in the cup holder, cool James Bond equipment is waiting for you never to be used: The extinguishing system can be activated at the push of a button, which effectively extinguishes fire under the car by emitting aerosol. In addition, the interior can be pressurized with fresh air from the bottle in order to escape a possible gas attack. The optionally available fresh air system (9,282 euros) sits under the trunk floor, where the reinforced jack and white gloves for changing wheels are also housed. The tank of the S-Class Guard is not armored, but coated on the inside with a special material. If the tank receives a hit, this material immediately closes the hole automatically. This self-sealing material is also used in the tanks of the Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

Daimler AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars
Hidden in the cup holder: the control buttons for fire extinguishing, fresh air and intercom systems.

The Guard version of the Mercedes S 600 long is fired by the same unit as the unarmored model: the V12 has 530 hp and a maximum torque of 830 Newton meters Towards the rear axle. Steering, axles, bearings: all load-bearing parts are reinforced, aluminum parts are replaced by steel. In other words: To cope with the massively increased weight due to the armor, more is neededWeight in the car. The S-Class Guard is on the road like no other car - and becomes a rather sedate vehicle. The acceleration for the reference sprint deteriorates from 4.6 to 6.8 seconds, the Vmax drops by 40 to 210 km /h and the consumption soars from 11.5 to 12.9 liters on average.

But even if the series weight more than doubles from 2,185 to 4,660 kilograms (a Mercedes Atego 818 truck weighs around 5,000 kilograms) - the thick tank is not twice as unwieldy. Thanks to its weight, it sticks forever. Oversteer or understeer should of course be avoided as much as possible, otherwise 4.6 tons of glass and iron will simply follow physics. But ABS and ESP and the monstrous brakes are tailored to the weight of the car, so that it can be intercepted quite well. As is so often the case, the problem with the armored S-Class will not be so much with the vehicle as with the driver. Here, too, the motto is: practice, practice, practice.

Even if evasive maneuvers with the heavy vehicles work well - the security forces in some countries like to make it clear to the instructors that they wouldn't evade people - there will leave the danger zone directly. Welcome to a world where life and death are quick. The main customers of the heavy sedans are in Russia and the Middle East. America is doing well too, after all, the Mexican kidnapping industry is doing 290 kidnappings a day. According to the security instructors, it is important to use the first three to four minutes after an attack to escape. Should the unarmoured engine get a shot, it will hold out this time. In terms of drivability, armored sedans have an advantage over armored off-road vehicles or SUVs: their center of gravity is much lower, which makes them less susceptible to tipping over.

Mercedes S-Guard: Black Fleet

The armored S-Classes are built in the Mercedes plant in Sindelfingen. It takes nine months from receipt of order to delivery. Since customers often don't want to wait that long, the cars are pre-produced and stored. According to Markus Nast, a Guard-S-Class can be ordered in any color imaginable. So much for the theory. 99 percent of the tank models sold are delivered in black - which simplifies pre-production. The possible extras not only include the official list of surcharges - many things do not appear in any official catalog. Things like a device that allows you to shoot out of the car without the armor deteriorating. Unusual in normal life, but not secret: a gun safe for the trunk is available for 2,380 euros. For the purchase of occupant dummies, which are intended to confuse potential attackers when choosing the target, Mercedes refers to dolls or dollsMannequin manufacturer.

Daimler AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars
Is the side window thick enough? Editor Gregor Hebermehl looks at the seven centimeter thick side window of the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Guard.

The basic version of the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Guard costs just under 560,000 euros, Mercedes takes a close look at the buyer beforehand to restrict Kirminellen's access to the new vehicles. Driver training is included in the purchase price. However, once the car is sold, Mercedes loses control of the car, and the owner can then sell on as he likes. According to Mercedes, the Guard department has good relationships with its customers - many buyers trade in their car when they buy a new one. Also available from Mercedes ex works as a tank version: The G 500 Guard (resistance class VR7 according to BRV 2009), the GLE 350 d 4Matic Guard and the GLE 500 4Matic Guard (resistance classes VR4 or VR6 according to BRV 2009 and ERV 2010) and the S -Class as S 500 long and S 600 long. There are competing models from Audi and BMW and now also from Jaguar and Bentley. Land Rover is part of the armored SUVs. Mercedes is currently the market leader in armored civil vehicles.

One of the first armored civil vehicles was the Mercedes Nürburg 460 type. In February 1931, a Pullman variant of the car with special protection was created: the side windows could be opened by sliding steel plates, the Protect the front window with a fold-down steel plate with a viewing slit and the surroundings could also be viewed through a periscope. The price and customer of the vehicle are unknown, the fact that the wheel is on the right-hand side suggests that the armored vehicle went to Japan. A few years later, the Japanese emperor received his first civilian tank in an armored Mercedes 770 K. Since then, heads of state around the world have sworn by armored sedans from Mercedes.

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