Australia’s Prime Minister uses a fleet of armoured BMW 7 Series limousines for ground transportation but perhaps it’s time to review 'the PM fleet' with the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman Guard now unveiled.
Heads-Of-State, entertainers, corporate moguls (and maybe those who derive their incomes via ‘unusual’ means) can now order the high-security stretch limo with face-to-face rear seating (to cater for a few extras who might whisper into their shirt sleeve cuffs and have bulges under their suit jackets).
Deliveries start in the second-half of next year.
In technical terms the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman Guard is certified for blast resistance (yes, that’s explosions) to Directive ERV 2010 and both the glass and bodywork comply with protection class VR9 (that’s explosions and bullets).
In fact, a massive steel bulkhead behind the seats provides protection more so than the rear glass.
No wonder the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman Guard is 6.5-metres long and weighs-in at 5.1 tonnes!
That also explains why the doors are so heavy that they require a power-assisted opening and closing function and the windows are hydraulically operated.
And that gargantuan size and weight also contributes to a top speed of only 160km/h despite power coming from a 390kW/830Nm twin-turbocharged V12 engine. (But we suspect appropriate gearing delivers dragster-like acceleration from low speeds - to quickly evacuate from a dodgy situation - with peak torque available from just 1900rpm.)
As you may expect, apart from confirming its ballistic and explosive protection via under-floor armouring, various steel, aramid and PE components and a polycarbonate/laminated glasshouse - as well as compliance with various global security standards - ‘Benz doesn’t divulge a lot technically about its car for world leaders.
The company did confirm the two VIP occupants sit facing forward (mostly hidden behind the thick C-pillars) and enjoy the longest legroom in the segment plus dignified egress thanks to strategically located rear doors.
Naturally there is a level of opulence in materials and fixtures passengers in this league demand – including leather for the seats and the roof lining.
Seats feature backrests which can recline up to 43.5-degrees, calf support and luxury extra cushion headrests. There is also a 47cm TV monitor.
Ahead (separated by an electrically-operated partition wall) - usually with ear-pieces inserted and looking anxious - the other two passengers face rearwards.
And the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman Guard - like all Benz’ - comes with a long list of options, but with some unique twists: sirens, flashing lights, two-way radios, an emergency starter button and external communication system (loudspeaker and microphone).
Deliveries of non-protection versions of Mercedes-Maybach S 600 Pullman - priced at €500,000 ($AU$735,00) - are now commencing, but it will be the second-half of next year before first examples of the €1.4-million ($AU2.058-million) ‘Guard’ version hit the road.