Updated Audi A8 L Security unveiled
Audi today unveiled a more secure version of its armoured A8 L Security sedan and announced plans to showcase the car at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show next week. The A8 L Security sedan now comes with the highest VR 9 level ballistics protection as per the latest ERV 2010 guidelines for its occupants, as against the VR 7 earlier, thus bridging the gap it shared with its rival, the Mercedes-Benz S Guard (VR 9, as per BRV 2009).
The VR 9 certification, one of the highest levels for civilians, signifies that the car can withstand 7.62x51mm rifle rounds among other weaponry on multiple areas of the body from various angles. The 7.62x51mm rifle round is used in a sniper or a machine gun.
In order to fulfill the higher protection class requirements, the luxury sedan has been treated with extremely resistant materials such as aramid fabric, special aluminum alloys and a hot-formed steel armour that offer more protection while keeping the weight in check. The car will comfortably handle a maximum payload of 600kg.
The Audi A8 L Security comes with standard features such as an armoured communication box in the luggage compartment, an intercom for communication and selective door unlocking. Moreover, a patented emergency exit system, a fire extinguishing system and an emergency fresh air system are also offered as optional extras. The A8 L Security will come with the carmaker’s Quattro drive system, which Audi says, makes it the only luxury sedan with an all-wheel-drive system to be offered directly from the manufacturer as an armoured high-security vehicle.
The Ingolstadt-based luxury carmaker is offering two engine options to push the gargantuan car and its high-profile occupants out of emergency situations. Powering the A8 L Security is a 4.0-litre V8 engine delivering 435bhp of power and 61kgm of torque. Also on offer is the naturally aspirated W 12 engine putting out 500bhp and 63kgm of pulling power. Top speed is electronically limited to 210kph.
The unveil comes close on the heels of the recently announced Range Rover Sentinel, a luxury armoured vehicle based on the top-spec Range Rover Autobiography which is also the first armoured Land Rover to be fully engineered by Tata Motors-owned JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division. When it comes to India, the A8 will rival the Mercedes-Benz S 600 Guard as well as the BMW 760Li High Security, both priced at around Rs 9 crore (ex showroom Delhi).