- Oct 30, 2010
Report: Israel orders million-dollar armored Audi A8
2011 Audi A8L – Click above for high-res image gallery
The President of the United States may be the highest target for assassination in the world – hence Cadillac One, his custom, leather-lined tank – but there's no shortage of people in the Middle East who'd bite that the opportunity to take a shot at the Prime Minister of Israel. (The recently commemorated assassination of late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is evidence enough.) It comes as no surprise that the Shin-Bet – Israel's national domestic preventative security force – has ordered a new armored limousine to transport the country's head of government.
The duties had been carried out until now by a motor pool of American and German vehicles, accompanied by Japanese SUVs in leapfrog formation (it's a wonder to behold if you're ever seen them in motion), but will soon be taken over by a specially-commissioned Audi A8 Security.
The car is reportedly based on the Audi A8 (likely the long-wheelbase version) with the 450-horsepower, 6-liter W-12 engine, Quattro all-wheel drive, B6+ and B7 ballistic protection, run-flat tires, an independent oxygen supply for the cabin, a fire-suppression system, explosive charges to free the doors in case of shockwaves, a DVD entertainment system, drinks fridge and humidor (Netanyahu's a known cigar aficionado). Those, of course, are just the features we know about, and given Israel's leading position in security equipment, we don't doubt there's plenty more that remains undisclosed. The car is said to cost around $700K from the factory, but add the country's incredibly high taxes – which the government still has to pay, but not on the security equipment – and you're looking at a cool million.