Mercedes-Benz details armored S600 Guard

The armored S is designed to withstand terrorist attacks.

Mercedes-Benz has fully detailed the armored S600 sedan that entered production earlier this week.

Called S600 Guard, the bullet-proof sedan is nearly identical to a stock S-Class when viewed from the outside but it features several hundred pounds' worth of armor under the skin. The sedan boasts steel plating all around the passenger compartment, a four-inch thick windshield that tips the scale at nearly 300 pounds and Michelin run-flat tires with a range of 19 miles.

The space between the body structure and the S' sheet metal is filled with a special type of steel and the entire underbody is fitted with protective armor. In its most heavily-armored configuration, the tank-like S meets the highest ballistic protection requirements in the VR9 class, meaning it is designed to withstand terrorist attacks and protect occupants from gun shots, hand grenades and a wide range of automatic military weapons. Buyers who are only marginally concerned about their safety can order the sedan with less armor.

The list of option is long and includes features such as heated side windows, a panic alarm system, an automatic fire extinguisher system, an emergency fresh air system that protects occupants from smoke and tear gas as well as hydraulically-operated windows. Buyers can choose from a four- or a five-seater configuration.

Power comes from a stock S600-sourced 6.0-liter V12 engine that sends 530 horsepower and 612 lb-ft. of torque to the rear wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission. Upgraded brakes on all four corners (including six-piston calipers up front) handle the extra weight, and top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph for safety reasons.

The S600 Guard is built entirely by hand because Mercedes believes its construction is too complicated and intricate for robots. Production takes place in a dedicated facility located in Sindelfingen, a town on the outskirts of Stuttgart, Germany. The factory also builds similarly-armored variants of the G-Class, the M-Class and the E-Class.

The S600 Guard will go on sale soon with a base price expected to lie in the vicinity of $435,000.

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