A “Luxury Fortress” On Wheels.
At this year’s Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) Show on 15-18 September at Excel, London, UK, British premium SUV maker Land Rover will unveil its very first armoured Range Rover produced by its Special Vehicle Operations. The automotive manufacturer is providing a full driver-training programme to ensure drivers are capable of handling the vehicle to maximum effect in the most challenging circumstances. Based on the luxurious Range Rover Autobiography, the car offers VR8 level certification confirming impressive ballistic and blast resistance.
Despite the levels of security offered by the vehicle’s armour and occupant protection systems, the new Range Rover Sentinel remains a Range Rover to the core. It delivers the same levels of luxury ride and comfort as a conventional Range Rover Autobiography. According to Land Rover, the Sentinel is aimed primarily at export markets and built to special order with indicative pricing of €400,000.
The mobile fortress is designed to withstand the most damaging and targeted of threats including penetration by 7.62mm high velocity, armour piercing incendiary bullets. The vehicle delivers lateral protection against up to 15kg Trinitrotoluene (TNT) blasts and defence against DM51 grenade explosions from both beneath the floor and above the roof.
“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,” explained John Edwards, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations.
At its core is a specially-developed six-piece armoured passenger cell, made of super-high-strength steel, providing world-class protection from attack. The standard glass has been replaced by multi-laminated armour privacy glass of optical quality, providing excellent clarity for the driver and occupants, while also delivering bullet protection.
Sentinel retains the plentiful legroom of the standard model that comfortably seats two full-size adults in the rear. A payload of up to 650kg can be carried thanks to revised Dynamic Stability Control and Ride Stability Control systems. The Command Driving Position found in all Range Rover vehicles remains, giving the driver a clear and unobscured view of the surroundings, particularly useful in the event of an attack.
The Sentinel has an anti-tamper exhaust, a self-sealing fuel tank, auxiliary back-up battery and a split charging system. The 100mm opening in the driver’s window for document delivery ensures the vehicle is secure. The load space features anti-smash protective glass ensuring the cabin remains a safe house.
When it is time to leave in a hurry, run flat inserts in the tyres – fitted to special 20-inch split rim alloy wheels – allow the vehicle to be driven even if the tyres are deflated. This system ensures that however determined the attack, the Range Rover Sentinel can use the considerable performance of its 340PS 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine in conjunction with a specially-calibrated ZF 8-speed automatic transmission to escape. In addition, 380mm front and 365mm rear ventilated disc brakes, both with high-density pads, ensure impressive stopping power when needed.
If the worst happens and the main doors are blocked by an accident or an attack, occupants can leave the vehicle via the Emergency Escape System behind the rear seats.
Optional protection features include under floor and under bonnet fire suppression systems, a customer configurable siren system, emergency service lights and an external speaker system to address people outside the vehicle from the safety of the cabin.
The Range Rover Sentinel model has a guide price from under €400,000.