The Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) of Land Rover has just revealed the company's first production bullet proof vehicle called the Range Rover Sentinel. Hand-built by SVO at Land Rover's Oxford Road facility, the Range Rover Sentinel is SVO's first fully engineered armored vehicle that encompasses high-end luxury, off-road capability and the highest levels of protection available to an SUV.
The 'Mobile Fortress' as described by Land Rover is based on the standard wheelbase Range Rover Autobiography, allowing the vehicle to retain all of its cabin amenities while looking relatively identical to standard models. Beneath the skin however lies a specially-developed six-piece armored passenger cell that was fabricated from super-high-strength steel.
The standard glass on the other hand has been replaced by multi-laminated armor-grade privacy glass which provides better clarity and ballistic protection according to SVO.
Certified by Qinetiq, a British multinational defense technology firm, with VR8 protection, SVO claimed that the vehicle will be able to withstand a 15kg blast of Trinitrotoluene (TNT) and will be able to protect its occupants from a 7.62mm high velocity ordnance. In addition, the Range Rover Sentinel will also stand up to explosions from beneath the floor or up above.
With the added protection, SVO reworked the standard suspension components to deal with the additional weight while still being able to deliver precise handling during an attack. The Dynamic Stability and Ride Stability controls have been revised as well to maintain the Range Rover's well-known ride comfort. Standard tires will not do and SVO has replaced them with run-flat tires that are wrapped in special 20-inch alloy wheels.
Other safety equipment present in the Sentinel include: anti-tamper exhaust, self-sealing fuel tank, back-up battery and a split charging system.
In an event that the four doors are blocked, SVO has fitted the rear seats of the Sentinel with an Emergency Escape System. The additional feature does not affect the interior layout of the luggage compartment as the company stated that it can still 650 kg of cargo and the split tailgate has been retained as well.
Providing the necessary grunt to the Range Rover Sentinel is the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 that cranks out 340 PS along with 450 Nm of torque. It is then mated to a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission that drives all four wheels.
Optional equipment available for the Range Rover Sentinel are: underfloor and engine bay fire extinguishers, a configurable siren system, emergency service lights and a loudspeaker.
“The Range Rover Sentinel is one of the most extraordinary Range Rovers ever produced. It has been expertly engineered by Special Vehicle Operations to provide class leading levels of protection to occupants against extreme attack, whilst retaining the Range Rover’s luxury and refinement with off road capability," said John Edwards, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations.
It will be making its official debut at the 2015 Defense and Security Equipment International Exhibition in London, UK which is scheduled to run from September 15 to 18, 2015.