With its Guard models, Mercedes-Benz offers the world's widest ex-factory range of special protection vehicles. The range comprising E-Guard, S-Guard and G-Guard features tailor-made protection to European standards. A high level of protection is provided by armour made from state-of-the-art materials such as glass/plastic composites and high-strength special steel in combination with plastic elements. All protective elements are incorporated at the bodyshell stage during a separate and independent production process.
With the prestigious S 600 Pullman Guard luxury limousine with integrated highest protection to level VR6/VR7, the world's oldest automaker is continuing a unique tradition of large, armoured prestige limousines. It was 80 years ago that Mercedes-Benz became the very first car brand to develop and manufacture Pullman limousines with special protection features.
Like the famously luxurious and spacious open-plan Pullman railway coaches after which it is named, the S 600 Pullman Guard treats its occupants to a travelling environment characterised by generous accommodation and the highest comfort. The vehicle owes its remarkably spacious interior to its 4315 millimetre wheelbase, which is 115 centimetres longer than that of the long version of the special-protection S-Class. Indeed, with an overall length of 6356 millimetres, the S 600 Pullman Guard is a vehicle of truly majestic proportions which offers its passengers not only a maximum of comfort, but also a superbly appointed setting for discreet meetings, equipped, of course, with all the key communications and entertainment systems. This ensures that the occupants remain fully in touch while enjoying the luxury and comfort of their own, special environment.
With exotic wood trim and high-grade leather, the interior of the Mercedes-Benz S 600 Pullman Guard shows stylish elegance and perfect finish in every detail. The standard individual rear seats in a V12 design ensure outstanding seating comfort. They are equipped with massage, multicontour and ventilation functions. Another example of the luxurious appointments is the thermostat-controlled refrigerated compartment in the console between the rear seats, which is included as standard.
The technical basis for the Pullman limousine is the S 600 Guard, the flagship Mercedes-Benz Guard model. It is powered by a silky-smooth twelve-cylinder biturbo engine with a cubic capacity of 5513 cc. Output is 380 kW (517 hp), with an impressive 830 Nm of torque. The suspension and basic vehicle structure have been modified, as it would be impossible to guarantee the long-term overall stability of the vehicle with its extra-long wheelbase if the lengthening process consisted of simply inserting an additional body section. The modifications also provide a solid foundation for the integration of the heavy special-protection elements. Furthermore, the state limousine is equipped with a higher rear roof for easier access and greater headroom. Four passengers can be accommodated in the rear compartment behind the partition – in comfortable seats whose face-to-face arrangement recalls the great Pullman tradition.
All special protection vehicles from Mercedes-Benz follow 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 in a dedicated production process. This effectively creates a coat of armour around the entire passenger cell. Even the roof frame struts, door locks, door gaps, exterior mirror mountings and other components are incorporated into this security concept.
Only the integrated protection concept allows highly effective detailed solutions of this kind and enables Mercedes-Benz Guard models to offer such complete protection. Specialists see to it that any potential weakspots are fully protected: at gaps in the body, at the doors or at the joins between metal and glass sections, an ingenious, overlapping system prevents projectiles from penetrating the interior. Hence Mercedes-Benz Guard vehicles provide their occupants with seamless all-round protection. High Protection or Highest Protection is combined with hallmark Mercedes-Benz build quality, even in those areas where post-production access would be all but impossible.
A further advantage of integrated special protection is that the protective features actually reinforce the body structure rather than exerting extra strain. In addition, Mercedes-Benz' integrated design approach means that any body-structure reinforcements required due to the weight of the protective elements can be integrated right from the very start. These reinforcements include suspension mountings or sturdier door hinges and window frames, for example. The window frames support the special side windows which are coated on the inside with a tough polycarbonate layer, while the hinges have to support doors whose weight is increased to over 150 kg on account of their special-protection features. Despite this extra weight, the hinges operate smoothly and reliably for the entire lifetime of the car. The result is extraordinary longevity and the same exceptional quality all round that distinguishes Mercedes-Benz standard-production models.
All Mercedes-Benz Guard models display the same outstanding ride comfort and effortlessly superior handling as their series-production counterparts. Furthermore, generously dimensioned suspension components and brakes ensure that their handling qualities are almost on a par with those of the standard-production models, thus giving the driver an optimal driving feel with high dynamic reserves at all times. The chassis is also designed to provide hallmark Mercedes ride comfort despite the extra weight.
Thanks to the seamless integration of the special-protection features, the paint quality and corrosion protection also match the high standards of conventional Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. And needless to say, all Guard models can be serviced in any Mercedes-Benz workshop anywhere in the world, and come with full warranty cover.
For a high level of protection, the passenger cells of Mercedes-Benz Guard vehicles are clad in armour made of state-of-the-art materials such as glass/plastic combinations, high-strength special steel or special steel-and-plastic composites.
Mercedes engineers use high-alloyed special steels and are constantly researching new materials to determine the optimal degree of protection for each particular resistance level. They do this on an in-house firing range equipped with a laser measuring system. This commitment to exploring the potential of new materials and technologies has made Mercedes-Benz the number-one trailblazer in the field of special-protection vehicle development – a position it has held for several decades. The experts' aim is to reconcile the highest degree of protection with the lowest possible weight.
On the outside, there is hardly any difference at all between a Mercedes-Benz Guard saloon and its standard-production counterpart. That's because, when it comes to special protection, discretion is just as much of a must as trust, reliability and quality. Statesmen, diplomats and senior business figures all over the world appreciate being able to travel incognito in vehicles that do not immediately betray their special status. But even those customers who are less in the public spotlight realise that discretion is the best form of protection. And because the protective elements in Mercedes-Benz Guard models are already integrated into the bodyshell, they not only offer extremely effective protection, they are also inconspicuous in everyday life. Nobody actually sees the hard core that lies within.