Home / Auto News / News article: 2013 Mercedes M-Class Latest in Armored Vehicle Lineup - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Mar 12 2013, 1:45 PM

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Attention foreign diplomats, drug lords and anyone living in Bogotá, Colombia: your new ride is ready. Mercedes-Benz is introducing an armored version of its M-Class SUV, the latest addition to its Guard family of vehicles.

The Germans know a thing or two about armor, and the ML is built like a Königstiger tank from the Second World War. The truck’s passenger compartment is protected by special laminated glass, while the A-, B- and C- pillars as well as the roof and firewall are constructed of special steel that “increases structural firmness.”

The Mercedes M-Guard was designed from the beginning for armored-car duty. During development, engineers incorporated special attachments into the vehicle’s structure. They allow for the easy addition of protection elements. The company claims this ground-up approach is more effective than adding armor to a vehicle after the fact.

What does all of this mean? Well, the M-Guard complies with the VR4 protection class in accordance with BRV 2009 (Bullet Resistant Vehicles 2009) standards. In plain language it can resist hand-grenade blasts as well as bullets fired from .357 and .44 Magnums. Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan would approve.

SEE ALSO: 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML 350 BlueTEC Review

Supporting the added mass of all that armor, the special-service ML features a standard AIRMATIC suspension with adaptive dampers. It’s also been fitted with stronger axles to handle the increased weight. Run-flat tires add additional piece of mind.

Surprisingly the addition of armor plating does not detract from passenger space or luxury. The M-Guard’s luggage capacity and payload ratings are identical to a standard M-Class.

The M-Guard is offered with two different engine options. The base powerplant is an efficient and torque-rich BlueTEC diesel V6. It puts out 258 horsepower. If gasoline is a more appropriate fuel a 408-horsepower V8 is also available. A seven-speed automatic is the only transmission offered.

With the addition of the ML 350 and ML 500 Guard models Mercedes-Benz offers customers nine armored vehicles to choose from. The lineup runs from the ever-popular E-Class to the flagship S-Class. Even the military-grade G-Class is in on the action.

The new armor-plated Mercedes M goes on sale March 15. In Germany the ML 350 Guard starts at €105,050, about $137,000. The ML 500 Guard model kicks off at a richer €118,650, roughly 155 grand.

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  • xajn

    Not only did you spell Colombia wrong, your misconceptions are about 10 years past their expiration date. It’s not a dangerous land of drug lords anymore. Pff.