Heads of state and business leaders can take this S-Class slogan literally when they entrust their lives to the new special-protection version of the luxury model. Because the new S680 GUARD 4MATIC (combined fuel consumption (WLTP): 19.5 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions (WLTP): 442 g/km) meets the highest ballistic test level for civilian vehicles and, moreover, is particularly resistant to explosive charges. The certification by the Beschussamt Ulm (ballistic testing authority) was carried out for the first time using so-called biofidelic dummies. These test dummies imitate the human body particularly realistically with bone- and soft tissue-like structures. The S680 GUARD 4MATIC is the first GUARD saloon from Mercedes-Benz with all-wheel drive and is powered by the familiar V12 (M279) with 450 kW/612 hp.
Mercedes-Benz has been building special-protection vehicles since 1928 and thus for over 90 years. Customers of the new S680 GUARD 4MATIC benefit from these many years of experience. The integrated protection system (iSS) reaches a new level: whereas the necessary protective materials were previously integrated into the standard body shell structure for the GUARD saloons, a GUARD-specific body shell of protective elements has now been developed. This self-supporting protective cell represents the core of the iSS. Ultimately, the (aluminium) outer skin serves as a design cover and ensures an inconspicuous appearance. In addition to the armouring, the iSS includes the adaptation of the suspension, engine and transmission to ensure handling that is virtually on a par with that of the production vehicle. Due to a parallel development process alongside the large-scale production models, the longevity of the GUARD vehicles also reaches series production level.
In addition to the unseen armouring elements, the transparent area of the windows is an integral and essential part of the protection concept. The material and thickness of the multi-layer glass ‘sandwich’ meet the high requirements of the VR10 safety classification. The inner surfaces of the glass are coated with polycarbonate for splinter protection. Despite their comprehensive protective effect, they offer excellent visibility. And they have been integrated in such a way that they are not noticeable at first glance – another significant advantage of the integrated protection system. The interior space also benefits from the elaborate iSS concept, as the comfort dimensions largely correspond to those of the long S-Class. As with the production model, it was possible to keep the panel gaps in the body shell to a minimum, so fulfilling the “seamless” claim of the Sensual Purity design philosophy. And when it comes to comfort and appointments, the four- and five-seater versions can both hold their own with their sister models: More than 80 customisation options are available for the S-Class, from active ambient lighting and a media display featuring OLED technology to a First-Class rear suite and rear airbag.
The V12 biturbo power unit has been extensively revised for its use in the new S-Class generation. The exhaust gas turbochargers, exhaust manifold and air ducting were all adapted. Also new is a closed-loop petrol particulate filter. The V12 has an output of 450 kW/612 hp and a displacement of 5980 cc. The maximum torque is 830 Nm from 2000 rpm. The most important features of the engine include an all-aluminium crankcase, a one-piece chain drive, a forged crankshaft made of high-quality quenched and tempered steel, forged pistons and a multi-spark ignition system with twelve twin-power ignition coils. Features of the all-wheel-drive system, combined here for the first time with the twelve-cylinder engine, include a low system weight, optimal traction and driving safety, and the highest levels of ride comfort and driving dynamics. The standard torque distribution for this model is 31 percent to the front axle and 69 percent to the rear axle. Among other things, the all-wheel drive was adapted to the higher vehicle weight of the GUARD version with stronger side shafts.
The highest level of protection combined with the best possible comfort for passengers and staff, that is the GUARD philosophy. Although the doors are very heavy due to their armouring, this electro-mechanical system means that only low operating forces are required for opening and closing. The stepless door arrest also proves its worth in this situation. The door’s sensor technology detects when and how it is to be moved or stopped. Algorithms from human-supporting robotics (cobots) are used. The system facilitates the work of the bodyguards in particular, and at the same time they can keep one hand free. There is also a lot of intelligence in the hydraulically (instead of electrically) operated window lifters. Even if the on-board power supply fails, emergency operation is possible, i.e. closing in the event of an attempted attack. In each door there is a corresponding unit consisting of a compressor and valve block together with a pressure accumulator. The Michelin PAX run-flat tyres are a standard feature. Even with defective tyres, it is possible to move out of the danger zone up to a distance of 30 kilometres. Other special equipment designed specifically for the S680 GUARD 4MATIC includes a fire extinguishing system with automatic triggering function and an emergency fresh air system that protects occupants from penetrating smoke or irritant gases and supplies them with fresh air.
Mercedes-Benz has been building special-protection vehicles for 93 years. The first model was the Nürburg 460.
The Primus biofidelic dummy from CTS has 42 bones – this number corresponds to about one fifth of the human skeleton. After the Mercedes-Benz S-Class with short and long wheelbase and the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, the GUARD is already the fourth body variant of the new generation. In addition, there are twelve soft-tissue components and internal organs. All in all, the luggage compartment holds about 390 litres, as the (optional) refrigerator is located in the centre armrest in the rear. Behind it is an armoured firewall. The S-Class GUARD can still drive a distance of up to 30 kilometres after a puncture thanks to Michelin PAX run-flat tyres. The S680 GUARD 4MATIC is available in four- and five-seater versions. The basic price is €457,100 plus value added tax.
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