Mercedes S 680 Guard with V12 withstands grenade explosions
With the Mercedes S-Class, Daimler is also relaunching the armored version of its flagship car. The S 680 Guard 4Matic should offer a lot of luxury and maximum security at the same time. AUTO BILD drove the heavy V12 ship!
Mercedes has chosen a new path for the new edition of the S-Guard. While the predecessor was basically an armored S-Class, the new one is an armored vehicle in the S-Class guise. Means: Even the shell is specially made for the Guard, including complex protective mechanisms. The armor elements are then screwed onto it. Centimeter-thick panels and multi-layer panes with splinter protection ensure that the VPAM protection classification VR10 is achieved. This is the highest level in the civil sector – a car classified in this way must withstand grenade attacks as well as fire from assault rifles and sniper rifles. Gas and smoke are kept outside by means of an overpressure system, around ten extinguishing agent nozzles on the underbody suffocate any fires. The entire drive train, including brakes and transmission, has also been adapted to the immense additional weight.
S-class hull is actually just camouflage
The S-Class cover over all the technology basically only serves as camouflage in order to make the vehicle as inconspicuous as possible and not to attract attention in the convoy. This works extremely well, differences are only noticeable on closer inspection. For example, the thick Michelin Pax tires, which can still be driven for around 30 kilometers even if shot to pieces. Or the bow handles instead of electrically extending door openers.
There are some extras in the S 680 Guard for safety reasons
At first glance, it’s a completely normal S-Class. The impression changes suddenly when the door is opened. Each individual portal weighs around 200 kilograms and houses pressure accumulators and compressors for the emergency opening of the windows. Actuators help to open and close and ensure that the heavy door stays in its position even on a slope. A quick check in the rear. The Guard owners are sitting in the back on the right; driving yourself is not popular in this league. Space and luxury are then back on the S-Class long level. A refrigerator, heated and ventilated massage seats and rear infotainment can also be found in the Guard. However, some extras such as the glass roof or gesture control in the headliner are not available because they would clash with the security requirement.
The consumption of the V12 is on a par with that of a truck due to its weight
Switch to the front. Here, too, there is an S-Class atmosphere. With the difference that buttons for intercom and signaling system, siren, emergency ventilation and fire extinguisher are located in the center tunnel. Despite the thick panes, the view outside is barely noticeably distorted. He wakes up at the push of a button Six-liter twin-turbo V12 to live. That 612 hp unit otherwise only works in the S-Maybach, but in the Guard the machine is sorely needed. Because the armored sedan weighs 4.2 tons as much as a small truck. The consumption of 19.5 liters per 100 kilometers according to WLTP is also at truck level.
It’s impressive how the S Guard copes with its weight
Driving the whole thing is simply impressive. This is mainly due to the sheer weight that you feel with every meter you drive. It is remarkable how powerfully the 830 Nm torque pushes the all-wheel-drive colossus forward. Before cornering, the brakes compress the mega-Mercedes so that it seems to tear the body from the struts. In fast corners, the whole load leans sharply and pushes all four wheels outwards. The understeer is naturally quite pronounced, especially with a jagged steering angle. Trick: turn gently so that the tires Grip can build up. Then it also works with the intended curve radius. Bumps let the body rock for a long time, which is reminiscent of a yacht in gentle seas.
Even with a flat tire you hardly notice any difference when driving
The bottom line is that the Guard remains controllable at all times, even in the limit area. Even with flat tires. To demonstrate this, the Mercedes technicians let the air out of the left front tire and send me back on the track. In fact, up to 80 km / h you can hardly feel a difference when driving straight ahead! Turning into bends becomes less defined, but is still easy to control. That can save lives in an emergency. It doesn’t have to go that far today. After all, this is a customer vehicle, and given that 457,100 euros basic price damage would be more than disadvantageous – even if the guardrail would probably draw the short straw.