Mercedes-Benz already builds what may qualify as the most comprehensive line of civilian armored vehicles
available, with models in the S Class, E Class and G Class product lines awaiting delivery to high-profile consumers worldwide.
Now you can add the Mercedes-Benz M Class crossover to the list of available Guard family vehicles
, too. Like other Mercedes-Benz Guard vehicles, the M Class Guard is designed from the ground up as an armored vehicle, so it delivers optimal protection while retaining the same level of luxury and ride comfort as the standard M-Class.
Mercedes claims that the entire passenger cabin is protected, including elements like the roof frame, the door locks, the door gaps and even the external mirror mounts. More than anything else, this illustrates why building from the ground up results in a safer end product than retrofitting after assembly.
The M Class Guard is constructed to deliver VR4 class protection, per Bullet Resistant Vehicles (BRV) 2009 standards. It can withstand assault from pistol calibers up to and including .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum, and can even shrug off a blast from a DM51 hand grenade (thankfully not the weapon of choice for carjackers on these shores).
Even the wheels and tires are designed for occupant safety, as they can be driven without air at speeds up to 80 km/h (50 mph) for a distance of 30 km (18.6 miles). That may not be enough to outrun pursuit, but it’s (hopefully) sufficient to get you out of immediate danger.
Under-hood, the M Class Guard comes standard with a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel, good for 258 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. If you want more thrust at the expense of range, the M Class Guard also comes in an ML 500 gasoline version, equipped with a 408-horsepower V-8 engine.
Mercedes says the new M Class Guard will be offered for sale worldwide. Pricing in Germany will start at 105,050 euros ($137,111) for the ML 350 BlueTEC Guard, rising to 118,650 euros ($154,862) for the ML 500 Guard.