It's hard for us auto-scribes not to sit up and take notice when a business magnate such as Mukesh Ambani makes an upgrade in his garage - that too when it's from one armoured vehicle to another. The Reliance Industries Limited chairman and MD will now be ferried around in the uber-secure S 600 Guard from Mercedes-Benz.
In terms of security, the purchase is definitely an upgrade from the armoured BMW 7 Series that was only recently added to the RIL fleet. The VR9 rating of the car should be indication enough of all that the car can withstand - in the words of our principal correspondent, Rishaad Mody, it's essentially a rating standard of upto what caliber of bullet the car can repel. . . VR4 is good for Dirty Harry choice of handgun - the mighty Magnum .44. VR6 can handle an AK47 which is really impressive. However, at VR9 you're not just talking about full on military spec automatic rifles but also dual grenade attacks (HG85 grenades for those of you wondering)."
The car comes at a starting price of Rs 8.9 crore and with a practically endless list of customisation options and the added on-road expenditures, the 2015 S 600 Guard works up to a neat Rs 11 crore. Mukesh Ambani is the first Indian to have taken possession of the new S-Guard but had 56 crosshair-wary buyers ahead of him on the global wait list.
This makes Mukesh Ambani's ride the most protected one - trumping even Prime Minister Modi's BMW 7 Series 760Li and President Pranab Mukherjee's S 600 Pullman Guard.
Michelin PAX tyres that can run for about 30km even when fully deflated, over one-inch thick polycarbonate infused windows, functions to inject clean air into the cabin in the event of a chemical attack - the heavily (we're talking 4.2 tonnes) armoured car manages all of this without compromising dynamics. The 530PS/830Nm generating V12 is claimed to manage a top whack of 210kmph.
Read our drive review of the S 600 Guard to know more.