Million-dollar Mercedes: Armored limo gets V12 all-wheel drive, bulletproof doors and glass

Mercedes has unveiled its latest armored car, and it costs over a million dollars plus options.


the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class limousine received the armored car processingand this latest version is powered by a mammoth V12 paired with an all-wheel-drive system for the first time.

Although Mercedes does not state the weight of the vehicle, it is understood to tip the scales to almost 3000kg – about 50% heavier than a Toyota LandCruiser – thanks to all the armored body and thick bulletproof glass.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class armored car has its own on-board oxygen system in case of chemical attackthick, bulletproof tires that can go 30 km even when flat, and the vehicle can be fitted with discreet police lights to cut through traffic when used by government dignitaries.



The official fuel consumption figure shows it’s a thirsty beast, with a claimed economy rating of 19.5L/100km – about 60 percent more than a Mercedes V12 AMG – due to the extra pounds.

In a press release, Mercedes said its new “Guard” armored model – based on the next-generation S-Class – “meets the highest ballistic test standard for civilian vehicles and… is particularly resistant to explosive charges.”

Mercedes-Benz has been building armored cars since 93 years old – since 1928.



He says the latest model hides much of its ballistic capability behind the standard aluminum bodywork, so at a glance it looks like a regular Mercedes S-Class.

However, the thick side windows and bigger tires are freebies to eagle-eyed observers.

Mercedes reckons it’s getting better at concealing the super-thick side glass through the use of new materials that limit distortion.



“The material and thickness of the multi-layered glass sandwich meets the high requirements of the VR10 safety classification,” says Mercedes.

“The interior surfaces of the glass are coated with polycarbonate for shatter protection. Despite their comprehensive protective effect, they provide excellent visibility. And they have been integrated in such a way that they are not noticeable at first glance.

The windows are so heavy that they use hydraulics rather than electronics to be raised or lowered.



According to Mercedes, although the doors are very heavy due to the extra armor inside, an electromechanical system has been developed to make it easier to open and close each door, even when the car is parked on a slope.

“Other special equipment designed specifically for the S 680 GUARD 4MATIC”, a model exclusive to governments and not available to the public, explains Mercedes, “includes a fire extinguishing system with automatic release function and a system of emergency fresh air that protects occupants from entering smoke or irritating gases and provides them with fresh air.

Other options include a siren, flashing lights and radios, as well as a panic alarm system.



the V12 engine (450kW/830Nm) is mated to an all-wheel-drive system, designed to get the armored Benz out of slippery situations.

The price of Benz’s latest armored car – without options – is €457,100 excluding VAT. With local taxes, the Armored Mercedes would likely have a starting price close to $1 million in Australia.

However, we may never see the vehicle here. The Australian Federal Government currently has a contract with BMW to provide protective vehicles for our visiting politicians and dignitaries.

Joshua Dowling

Joshua Dowling has been a motoring journalist for over 20 years, spending most of his time working for the Sydney Morning Herald (as motoring editor and an early member of the Drive team) and News Corp Australia. He joined CarAdvice/Drive in late 2018 and was a World Car of the Year judge for 10 years.

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