Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations division has introduced its very first armored vehicle: the Range Rover Sentinel. Based on the top-spec standard wheelbase Autobiography model, it has received VR8 level certification. The VR8 level certification guarantees that it can withstand 7.62mm high-velocity, armor piercing incendiary bullets. It also boasts exceptional lateral protection against up to 15 kg TNT blasts and also provides defense against DM51 grenade explosions from beneath the floor as well as from above the roof. All this is possible thanks to a bespoke six-piece armored passenger cell manufactured from “super-high-strength steel” while the standard glass for the windows has been replaced by multi-laminated armor privacy glass which grants bullet protection while maintaining great clarity for the driver and passengers.
The Range Rover Sentinel is fully certified to VR8 standard against ballistic threats by QinetiQ®, an independent organisation that was formerly part of the British Government’s Defence Establishment Research Agency.
The suspension has been up-rated to ensure Range Rover’s legendary ride comfort and handling are retained, yet still delivers precise on-road dynamics to allow occupants to escape attack. The Sentinel has undergone the same testing as a standard production vehicle and retains the outstanding off-road capability for which Land Rover is famous.
The Sentinel features an anti-tamper exhaust, a self-sealing fuel tank, auxiliary back-up battery and a split charging system. There is an 100mm opening in the driver’s window which ensures that during document delivery the vehicle is secure. The load space features anti-smash protective glass ensuring the cabin remains a safe house.
When it is time to leave in a hurry, run flat inserts in the tyres – fitted to special 20-inch split rim alloy wheels – allow the vehicle to be driven even if the tyres are deflated. This system ensures that however determined the attack, the Range Rover Sentinel can use the considerable performance of its 340PS 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine in conjunction with a specially-calibrated ZF 8-speed automatic transmission to escape. In addition, 380mm front and 365mm rear ventilated disc brakes, both with high-density pads, ensure impressive stopping power when needed.
In case the main doors are blocked, there’s an emergency escape system located behind the rear seats which allows the driver and the passenger to exit the vehicle in an emergency situation.
The Range Rover Sentinel is fully EU Homologated, available in the UK, Europe, South America, Africa and the Middle East with VR8 level certification.
Available to order from the beginning of September 2015, the Range Rover Sentinel has a guide price from under €400,000 and benefits from a three-year, 50,000-mile warranty. Additional global aftersales support includes scheduled visits each year by a specialised technician.