Mercedes-Benz is currently undergoing a transition phase as it separates from Daimler as its own company, but that has not inhibited the quality of its cars. One of its most expensive and most heavily engineered vehicles is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but even that car is not all that the German automaker is capable of. As we recently reported, Mercedes has created the S680 Guard, an armored limo that is so capable that it can withstand explosions and other heavy artillery attacks. Sure, it has a price tag comparable to that of a Lamborghini, but it makes some bold claims about occupant protection, and now those claims have been verified in a series of strenuous tests.
Mercedes says that this is more than just an armored car, with the integrated protection system (iSS) serving as a self-supporting protective cell. This is a change from previous models where the protective materials were integrated into the standard body shell. In this case, the regular S-Class aluminum body serves as a design cover, or skin, for the armored shell. This also helps disguise the multi-layer glass ‘sandwich’ that boasts inner glass surfaces coated with polycarbonate for splinter protection. Along with other armored components, the S680 Guard is exceptionally safe, as proven by its certification from the VPAM, an association of test centers for attack-resistant materials and structures.
The car’s evaluation proved the claims of Mercedes, with the Guard becoming the very first vehicle to complete the current tests. It also achieved the top scores in all three tests (roof, floor, and side), with the evaluation being that “no injuries” to hyper-realistic dummies were recorded. These dummies have been scientifically developed to mimic the structure and composition of the human body, and even though evaluations were based on the worst-affected dummy or seat, the Guard passed with flying colors. It’s truly a remarkable machine that looks like any other S-Class, but with a cost of around $540,000, few of us will ever get to feel what driving a luxury tank is really like.