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UPDATE: Additional photos added after the jump

Celebrities, dignitaries, and the obsessively paranoid now have a new cocoon in which to wrap themselves as they travel from place to place. For them, the Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard melds V12 power and Mercedes' luxurious, quiet accommodations with the sense of security only an armored vehicle can provide.

Like the other Guard models (E and G-Class rides are also available) the S-Guard is built on its own assembly line, which lets Mercedes armor up the car as part of the original production process. As a result, they're able to build in the protective features better than any aftermarket program and still tune the car so that it doesn't lose much (if anything) in terms of handling and comfort. The 517-horsepower V12 underhood is more than capable of providing adequate thrust.

If the vehicle comes under threat, it's B6/B7 armor level is enough to stop standard military-grade small-arms fire (such as 7.62mm and 5.56mm rounds), protect against grenade shrapnel and offer protection against other explosive devices. Run-flat tires, a self-sealing fuel-tank, and an integrated fire-extinguishing system round out the Guard package. Despite all the reinforcements, the S600 Guard is visually indistinguishable from the garden-variety V12 S-Class.

(Photos, press release after the jump)

[Source: DaimlerChrysler]


GALLERY:
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E-Guard firearms test (above)






PRESS RELEASE:
Mercedes-Benz S 600 Guard: New top-of-the-range Guard model offering Highest Protection
Stuttgart, Oct 16, 2006
Mercedes-Benz has completed the new S-Class range by introducing an armoured special-protection model. Thanks to its factory-integrated protective features, the new S-Guard provides a unique level of protection against attacks and threats posed by violent crime. The new model is initially available in Mercedes-Benz S 600 Guard guise, with a twelve-cylinder engine and a long wheelbase.

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Guard is the logical continuation of an almost 80-year unbroken tradition in the development of special-protection vehicles. This new top-of-the-range Guard model is produced in Sindelfingen, Germany by vastly experienced specialists working on the principle of integrated special protection. In effect this means that, rather than retrofitting the protective elements in the doors, rear wall, side panels, roof lining and firewall etc. of an already finished vehicle, they fully integrate them into the bodyshell on a dedicated production line. All the body-structure reinforcements required due to the extra weight of the protective elements can therefore be incorporated right from the start. The resulting vehicles offer hallmark Mercedes-Benz build quality combined with comprehensive Highest Protection, including in those areas where post-production access would be all but impossible.

Outstanding comfort and effortlessly superior performance

The S-Class interior space concept, which makes for a first-class ambience combined with outstanding ride comfort for all the occupants, not to mention effortlessly superior handling, remains virtually unaffected. Furthermore, generously dimensioned chassis components and twin-calliper front brakes lend the Mercedes-Benz S-Guard Saloon hallmark Mercedes handling qualities and provide the driver with an optimal driving feel at all times. Plus the chassis has been configured so as not to impair the sumptuous level of comfort that distinguishes the standard-production S-Class. At the heart of the Mercedes-Benz S 600 Guard is a twelve-cylinder biturbo engine developing 380 kW/517 hp, whose scintillating performance capability allows the luxury saloon to escape from dangerous situations with breathtaking speed.

The Mercedes-Benz S 600 Guard offers Highest Protection and has been engineered to resistance level B6/B7, as tested and certified by state-approved organisations. Its armour resists military-standard small-arms projectiles and provides protection against fragments from hand grenades and other explosive charges. Additional safety features include run-flat tyres, a self-sealing fuel tank and a fire-extinguishing system.

Yet the Highest Protection that underpins the new Guard Saloon is scarcely noticeable from the outside. After all, discretion is as much of a must as trust, reliability and quality. Prominent personalities in particular like to travel incognito, wherever they happen to be, and the new Mercedes-Benz S-Guard gives them this option.

All the trailblazing developments of the new S-Class

The Mercedes-Benz S 600 Guard is equipped with the same technical innovations that have made the flagship Mercedes S-Class the number-one trailblazer in passenger car development and the world's best-selling luxury saloon. These include important new developments such as Brake Assist PLUS and the PRE SAFE® brake in combination with DISTRONIC PLUS, night view assist and the enhanced PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system. On top of all this, the outstanding level of interior comfort and extremely agile handling make for an effortlessly superior driving experience.