Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security detail has a new addition — a highly protected Mercedes Maybach car. Earlier, the PM used to move around in a protected Range Rover Vogue and the Toyota Land Cruiser.
The new car, Mercedes Maybach S 650 Guard, is said to be top of the line among protected vehicles for VIPs worldwide and is both bullet- and blast-proof. Sources said the vehicle was recently acquired as part of the PM’s cavalcade and the PM was last seen moving around in the vehicle during the two-day visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to New Delhi, which began on December 6.
“Security of the PM is a matter of consistent review. Vehicles are part of the process,” an official said.
Sources said the vehicle was acquired after several rounds of negotiations between the company and the SPG, where the latter not only examined each protective feature of the car but also ordered some modifications to suit the needs of PM’s protection.
The S 650 Guard has a ballistic protection level of VR10. It is the highest certification standard available to civilians, ensuring a 360 degree protection. Industry sources said the car is made of reinforced body shell and glass housing which can withstand exceptional explosives charges, and even bullets fired from military assault rifles.
The vehicle is also equipped to cope with unseen dangers such as smoke or irritant gases or even a gas attack, when its emergency fresh air system would be switched on, protecting the occupant inside.
The protective elements are fully integrated into the body shell of the vehicle in a dedicated production process, rather than retrofitting on the vehicle. This gives the car the look and feel of a normal series production.
The car has self-sealing fuel tank and comes with an in built fire extinguisher. The seats come with a massage function where the passenger can avail of massages from ‘high intensity’ and ‘hot relaxing back’ to ‘classic massage’. It also has a 360 degree camera.
Powered by a 6 litre V12 engine producing 650 horse power, the car is 5.45 m long with a wheelbase of 3.36 m. The heavy doors of the vehicle use an electric motor for opening and shutting.
While the actual cost of PM’s vehicle is not known, industry sources said it could be in excess of Rs 12 crore.