Report: Rahul Kapoor; Photography:
6.0 Litre Twin-Turbo V12
Premium Unleaded Petrol
Airmatic air suspension with variable damper control
6 piston brake callipers ventilated disc
Front 245/45 R19 Tyres 275/40 R19 (Run flat)
Price (ex-showroom Delhi)
If you think
you are obscenely rich like the Ambanis, or you are insanely famous, or you are
a popular politician with a great future or you are just a pop icon with a
mammoth fan following, then I presume you need to be protected round the clock.
Apart from the gun wielding jumbo bodyguards sticking to you like glue, you
also need a safe car to take you places, safely and in comfort. Fear no more,
as Mercedes has brought in a new car just for you. Mercedes has introduced a
new heavier version of their super luxury saloon the Mercedes-Benz S 600 Guard,
or simply the S-Guard.
looks exactly like the regular S-Class, only a bit slower. Even though the S-Guard
looks like a regular four door saloon, it isn’t exactly what it seems. The
S-Guard is an armoured version of the regular S-Class and is designed to save
the lives of all the occupants inside, no matter what. It could be a grenade,
it could be a battalion of guerrilla soldiers with AK47s, or it could be a bomb
strapped underneath the car, nothing along these lines can pierce through the
armour plated structure of the S-Guard. Regardless of whatever you throw at it,
the S-class will keep moving.
place someone would probably want to shoot are the tyres to try and stop the
vehicles once your bullets ricochet off the 3 inch thick window and windscreen
glass. At full deflation, the run flat tyres are designed to keep the car
moving for 30kms. The wheels, the tyres, the inner rims are all reinforced with
steel internally and weigh 50 kilograms alone… each. Each door weighs 200kgs,
the firewall, the back of the rear seats, the bottom of the car and the roof
are all reinforced with steel armour plating. The total kerb weight of the car
is 2225kgs which is the exact total of a standard S-class with a standard
E-class on its roof. IT IS HEAVY!
To handle the
colossal added weight, both axles have been reinforced and instead of aluminium
parts, all have been replaced with reinforced steel parts and uprated brakes
all around. Just to cope with all that massive weight from all the armour.
feel all the weight even before you get in the car. At first when you open the
doors, you attempt to open it like you always have all your life. But you nudge
the handle and you begin to realise what everything is all about. Just to open
the 200kgs doors, you need to put your back into it. And when you do, you
notice a simple cabin waiting for you inside which is exactly the same as a
normal S-Class. All full of luxury, all full of finesse and German standards of
quality and refinement.
But all that
weight needs to move, so they unscrewed the 5 litre V8 and threw it out of the
factory window and bolted in a 6 litre twin turbo charged V12 which produces
530bhp mated to a 7 speed automatic transmission, it delivers 830Nm of torque.
It’s enough to move the moon out of orbit!... probably. I’m not a rocket
scientist, just trying to prove a point. I was thinking, all that weight and
all that power and torque, how does that work? I wanted to know, though it
sound epic on paper, how is it on tarmac? So I took it for a spin on our home
grown F1 track – Buddh International Circuit, for a small spin to get to grips
of how all this actually works.
in the pit lane, the S-Guard was so smooth, it was unbelievable. Everything
from the power being delivered to the rear wheels to the sound of the engine to
the feel of the pedals at my feet or the electronic power steering wheel all of
it felt so smooth, I just felt that the car was literally driving me away
instead of the other way around. Exiting the pit lane and pinning the throttle,
the power isn’t immediate though it’s linear. It’s designed to do that because
it’s not meant for a racetrack, it’s for the comfort of the rear passengers who
should be able to sip a glass of champagne while the driver worries about the
shower of bullets headed their way. It’s so refined that unless you’re at half
throttle, you can’t downshift just because it would jerk the car and would
spill their drinks.
suspension is so soft and gooey even in Jason Statham mode. At one point I
clipped a curb too much as the instructor notified me. In any other car, I
would hear the wheels rumbling and feel it slightly, but no matter how much
curb I took, I couldn’t feel or hear a thing. I was like just on a bed of air.
The only thing in this car that was obvious but we usually take for granted -
the weight of the steering wheel. The car weighs over 2000kgs so to steer the
car you need a massive amount of muscle in your shoulders and abs just to point
the car into the direction you want it to go even with the EPAS. It’s smooth
but it isn’t hard to manage at all and literally, anybody
can do it. It’s that simple and easy to drive. Taking the parabola on the track
entering at a speed of around 80kmph, turn in and just a dab of left foot
brake, the back end slips out ever so slightly and so easily letting out tyre
squeals, still it’s so easy to control despite it weighing as much as
So then if
you have any of the four personality traits I mentioned above then the S-Guard
is for you. I will admit, considering the hefty price tag, the first trait is
highly necessary but nonetheless the S-Guard will save your life no matter
what. Included in the price is a two day trip to Germany for two, not for a
holiday but a driver training programme to teach the owner and his chauffeur how
to drive. Every little nook and cranny of every element in the car and around
it has had years of thought put into it. From windows to tyres, to the chassis
to the axles, everything has been designed to serve one purpose and one purpose
only, to save whosoever is present in the cabin of the car from any kind of
harm from wooden splinters to AK47s or bazookas to grenades. Anything and
everything so if you are a wealthy actor who has millions of crazy screaming
fans who love you so much they want to kill you, or a lunatic dictator who
everyone loves to hate and want his your head on a platter, the S-Guard is the
car for you. Or if you feel the need for a bullet proof car, then I’d suggest
you take a look at it if you want. You won’t be disappointed that’s for sure.
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