The latest iteration of Audi’s armored vehicle has been upgraded from the previous VR7 ballistic protection standard to VR9 thanks to a new safety cell that combines aramide fabric, hot-formed steel armor with special aluminum alloys. These materials are not only very resistant, but also lighter and have lowered the vehicle’s weight by an unspecified amount.
As the name suggests, it’s based on the long wheelbase A8 and comes as standard with equipment specific to armored cars such as an intercom, selective door unlocking and a trunk-mounted communication box which is also armored. At an additional cost, Audi is offering emergency exit and fresh air systems along with a fire extinguisher kit.
It can be had with a bi-turbo TFSI 4.0-liter V8 engine producing 435 bhp and 600 Nm or with a larger naturally aspirated W12 that produces 500 bhp and 625 Nm. In both cases, the engines grant the vehicle with a maximum payload capacity of 600 kg and work with a permanent quattro all-wheel drive system which had to be modified for this armored variant. The chassis has also gone through some changes and there’s a top speed limiter at 210 kmph which was implemented to protect the run-flat tires.
Competing with the BMW 7-Series High Security, Audi will bring the revised A8 L Security at the Frankfurt Motor Show which will open its doors to the large audience next week. It’s already available on order and the first deliveries are programmed to commence in the spring of 2016 at a yet undisclosed price tag, but rest assure it’s a lot more expensive than the standard A8 L. The higher price tag shouldn’t be a problem for those who are in the market for such a car as in all cases we are talking about very important people that need a high level of protection while travelling by car.