It turns out that Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division does not only build high-performance or one-off models, they can also do post-apocalyptic style vehicles that can keep you and your loved ones safe, even when the world around you has turned into hell. The latest creation, the Range Rover Sentinel, is the first armoured Land Rover fully engineered by SVO, and it’s rather impressive.
From the outside it looks like a normal, run-of-the mill standard wheelbase Range Rover Autobiography, but underneath the Sentinel has a myriad of changes that help it achieve “VR8 level certification”, which guarantees it can withstand shots from 7.62mm high-velocity, armour piercing incendiary bullets. It also boasts exceptional lateral protection against up to 15 kg TNT blasts and also provides defence against DM51 grenade explosions from beneath the floor as well as from above the roof.
This incredible strength has been made possible thanks to a bespoke six-piece armoured passenger cell manufactured from “super-high-strength steel” while the standard window glass has been thrown out and replaced with multi-laminated armoured privacy glass, which provides occupants with excellent bullet protection, whilst still maintaining good levels of clarity. So if you’ve just been offered your dream job in Syria, fear not, here’s your next vehicle for the daily commute.
Other special features include an anti-tamper exhaust, a self-sealing fuel tank, auxiliary back-up battery, a split battery charging system and run flat inserts in the tyres which allow the vehicle to be driven even if the tyres have been punctured, or indeed shot out by insurgents on your way to work. There’s also a 100mm (3.93in) opening in the driver’s window for document or latte delivery, and there’s also optional protection which includes an under floor and under bonnet fire suppression system, a customer configurable siren system, emergency service lights and an external speaker system so you can make announcements to plebs outside the vehicle.
As you can imagine, all of these features add significant weight to the vehicle, so to help the Sentinel cope it has an uprated suspension system, which Land Rover say delivers the same ride comfort, handling and off-road capability as regular non-armoured Range Rovers. To help pull all of this weight up, the brakes have also been upgraded to 380mm front and 365mm rear ventilated discs with high-density brake pads. Luckily, the Range Rover’s 250kW (335hp) 3.0L V6 supercharged petrol engine already produces adequate levels of power to move Sentinel, so no changes were needed there. It has been mated to a specially-calibrated ZF 8-speed automatic transmission.
If the Sentinel sounds like the SUV you’ve been waiting for, it will be available to order in the UK, Europe, South America, Africa and the Middle East from the beginning of September 2015. It will debut at Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) Show on September 15-18 in London, with built to special order prices starting from €400,000 ($445,380).