The defensive capabilities of armored cars are identified under several levels of protection, ranging from the handgun-resistant VR 4 all the way up to VR 9, the most stringent standard available for civilian vehicles. With VR 9 ballistic resistance, a car can absorb 7.62 x 51mm ammunition, which is the same projectile fired from the belt-fed M60 machine gun.
If you order a new Audi A8 L Security, that’s exactly the type of protection you’ll get.
The well-equipped luxury sedan has just been revealed ahead of its public debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, and it’s been dubbed “the most secure Audi ever” by its manufacturer. To accomplish this, Audi has fitted the standard A8 L with aramide fabrics (similar to Kevlar), special aluminum alloys, run-flat tires, and hot-formed steel armor. The additions not only bring the new car past its predecessor’s VR 7 rating, they also meet the Explosive Resistance Vehicle standards that were set in 2010.
Any car has vulnerabilities, but Audi has gone to great lengths to shore them up with this sleek and safe people-carrier. Each order is supervised by the brand from start to finish, and many of the components are made in a secure and top-secret factory. For added peace of mind, there’s an armored communications box in the luggage compartment, selective door unlocking, and an intercom system for communicating with those outside the vehicle — friendly or not. Features like an emergency exit, a fire extinguisher system, and an emergency fresh air ventilator can be added as well.
The A8 L Security is more than capable of eluding baddies with pure driving dynamics as well, because its quattro system makes it the only factory-armored luxury sedan available with all-wheel drive. Two engines are available — a 4.0-liter biturbo V8 with 435 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque and a 6.3-liter W12 engine with 500 hp and 461 lb-ft.
There’s a bit of added heft with the armor and such, but Audi says the vehicle can still handle a maximum payload of 1,322 pounds. That’s the power of power. The beefed-up A8 is available to order now and is scheduled for delivery in spring 2016.