Mercedes-Benz introduces new heavy security M-Class Guard model

From AB
Special-protection variant Mercedes-Benz M-Class Guard: High-level
protection in SUV
Stuttgart, Mar 12, 2013
The new special-protection variant of the M-Class is the latest
addition to the extensive Mercedes-Benz Guard family. As with all
Guard models, the armoured version of this popular SUV follows the
brand-typical integrated special protection design principle. All the
additional protection systems are taken fully into account right from
the development phase of each model series and perfectly integrated
into the vehicle's architecture. This enables all the advantages of
the standard series-production vehicle to be retained, such as for
instance the luxurious yet functional vehicle interior, the high level
of active and passive safety, the exceptional ride comfort and the
agile driving dynamics.
As with all special-protection vehicles with the three-pointed star,
in the new M-Guard the focus is on a holistic development approach:
integrated special protection. This means that the individual
protection elements are integrated in the raw vehicle bodyshell from
scratch in an autonomous process, by virtue of which the entire
passenger compartment receives a kind of coat of armour that even
includes elements such as the roof frame struts, locks, door gaps and
exterior mirror mounts. This way, a Mercedes-typical comprehensive
protection system against ballistic attacks is created, providing
protection that includes places where retrofitting would hardly be
possible, or would be much less effective.
Another advantage of the integrated protection concept over retrofits
that burden the vehicle body structure with added weight: right from
the outset the vehicle bodyshell is strengthened in accordance with
the greater weight and the positioning of the armour elements. This
results in a greater stability of the entire body structure and
consequently in the typical longevity and high resistance
characteristic of the conventional M-Class models.
M-Class Guard: all-round protection
The bodyshell of the M-Class goes through all the stages of
large-series production, benefiting from the excellent quality of the
M-Class bodyshell. Unlike its standard series-production counterpart,
though, the Guard bodyshell has specific adaptations for the
attachment of the armour elements, a front structure with reinforcing
elements and modified doors. The armour itself includes:
Windows of the highest optical quality Special laminated glazing with
a uniform thickness all-round, polycarbonate layer on inside to
protect against shards.
In the un-transparent sectors perfectly tight-fitting formed special
steel is used throughout. In the A-, B- and C- pillars and the
firewall and roof, this steel also reinforces the passenger
compartment and increases structural firmness.
All the components installed comply with defined ballistic
requirements, are subjected to constant ballistic control and are
already correspondingly certified beforehand.
Complies with VR 4 protection class
The new M-Guard meets the requirements of protection level VR4
according to testing guidelines BRV 2009 for special-protection
vehicles with bullet resistance (according to Bullet Resistant
Vehicles 2009). This ballistic classification designates ballistic
resistance (VR = Vehicle Resistance) in terms of the weapons and
calibre: in this case, among others, Magnum .357 and .44.
Certification was carried out by the Ulm-based Ballistics Bureau. This
independent, neutral, test ensures that the integrated protection
concept is appropriate to face the hard requirements of real danger
situations. The MGuard passed the following ballistic and
explosives tests successfully:
Fire from different angles
Blasts, for example with DM51 hand grenade, according to test
guidelines ERV 2010. Both in the front and in the vehicle rear, these
were resisted by the M-Guard with the optional floor armour
successfully
Well-harmonised suspension, powerful engines
In spite of the increased weight caused by its armour, the M-Guard
achieves the impressive ride comfort, great agility and extraordinary
active safety of its series-production counterpart. The
special-protection variant features as standard an AIRMATIC air
suspension system with Adaptive Damper System (ADS) specifically
adapted to the vehicle's special protection features. Stronger axle
components compensate for the increased weight of the M-Guard
superbly, Guard-specific torsion bars at the rear axle optimise roll
behaviour in fast curves and when taking evasive action.
The M-Guard is exclusively available with tyres with run-flat
capability and 5spoke 50.8 cm (20-inch) AMG light-alloy wheels.
MOE tyres with run-flat capability make it possible to drive on safely
for up to 30 km at a maximum speed of 80 km/h even if the tyre has
suffered a total loss of air.
With the new ML 350 BlueTEC Guard there is a diesel power plant that
is just as economical as it is agile for the first time in this
segment. It offers the tried-and-tested V6-cylinder diesel engine with
190 kW output (258 hp) and a top torque level of 620 Nm. It meets the
requirements of the currently strictest EURO 6 emissions standard. The
V8 petrol-engine-powered ML 500 Guard with 300 kW (408 hp) and 600 Nm
is available as an alternative. LHD and RHD versions of both vehicles
are available.
Unrestricted interior space
The sporty character and high value appeal of the series-production
vehicle are also distinctive of the generously-dimensioned interior of
the M-Guard. The protection measures restrict neither the car's famed
ambience of well-being nor the space available for its up to five
passengers. Its load capacity of up to 2010 litres and the payload of
around 560 kg are of the same high level as those of the
series-production non-special protection M-Class models. In addition
the M-Guard customers can choose from among most of the M-Class's
attractive equipment options. Among these worthy of note are for
instance exclusive leather appointments, infotainment systems, such as
COMAND Online, and high-value sound systems.
Extensive trial programme for top reliability
Apart from the specific ballistic tests carried out by the Ballistics
Bureau in Ulm, the M-Guard has to pass a detailed test programme just
like its series-production counterparts. These trials mimic everyday
operating conditions, exceeding these parameters by a large factor in
many cases. They include an endurance test lasting several weeks to
determine bodyshell strength, standardised simulation of arduous roads
on special bodywork test rigs and road endurance tests to ensure the
durability of drivetrain and suspension under extreme conditions. Over
and above these trials, heat and cold tests and high-speed driving on
test courses are carried out to ensure the resistance of individual
components and their overall operation under the greatest stresses. In
a separate winter trial on ice and snow, the engineers adjust the
driving dynamics systems to the increased weight due to the armour.
Finally a crash test programme ensures fault-free operation of all
passive protection systems.
Mercedes-Benz offers nine special-protection models
The Guard programme currently includes vehicles of the S-, E-, M- and
G-Class. With a total of nine models Mercedes Benz has one of the most
comprehensive special-protection ranges:
E 350 BlueTEC Guard
E 250 Guard*
E 350 Guard*

E 500 Guard
ML 350 BlueTEC Guard
ML 500 Guard
S 600 Guard
S 600 Pullman Guard
G 500 Guard
*Only for certain countries
The Guard models can avail themselves of a network of Mercedes-Benz
Service stations all around the world for the service, maintenance and
repair work needed. And of course the special-protection models also
come with a full factory warranty. The new M-Guard can be ordered as
of 15 March 2013.
The prices in Germany (in addition statutory 19% VAT):
ML 350 BlueTEC Guard ?105,050
ML 500 Guard ?118,650
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