With money comes power. But more often than not, it also bring a multitude of problems with it. If you happen to be one of those, filthy rich but plagued by problems that even be life-threatening, then this is probably the car that you need to look at buying. The Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman, the ‘absolute flagship’ of the Mercedes-Benz passenger car range that was shown at last year’s Geneva motor show, is now available in a variant called the Guard. The S600 Pullman Guard, according to Mercedes-Benz, is aimed at heads of state and other individuals “at particular risk”, so it’s been built to the specifications of protection class VR9 (in transparent and non-transparent areas) and is certified for blast resistance in accordance with Directive ERV (Explosive Resistant Vehicles) 2010. This means the armoured vehicle can protect its occupants from an explosion of 15kg of TNT from a distance of two metres.
Providing the same interior dimensions and the luxurious cabin with face-to-face seating configuration behind a glass partition as the unarmoured Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman, the Guard’s special protection capabilities are not apparent from outside. However, as you can imagine, there’s a significant amount of steel and other protective panels, layers and structures that have been added to the car. Even at the body shell stage, special steel components are integrated into the cavities between the body structure and the outer skin with special aramid and polyethylene components providing additional splinter protection and comprehensive ballistic protection. The glass areas are coated with polycarbonate on the inside but retain their optical characteristics thanks to their laminated structure. Meanwhile, the car’s floor is protected from blasts with reinforcements to relevant areas of the underbody.
But these protective upgrades have had obvious effects on the car’s kerb weight, which is now at a whopping 5,100kg. That means the biturbo 6.0-litre V12 has a lot more to haul with its 523 horsepower and 830Nm of torque.
And of course all that protection comes with a price, which is 1.4 million euros (Dh5.74 million), with deliveries starting in the second half of 2017. If your protection needs can’t wait until then, you can always buy the smaller, standard Maybach S600 Guard, which also offers a more comprehensive VR10 ballistic protection, that too for a lesser price.