Newest Addition to PM Modi’s Convoy: The Mercedes Maybach S 650 Guard

The Special Protection Group in charge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security details has made a new addition to his official cavalcade, a Mercedes Maybach S 650 Guard. A big upgrade from his earlier Range Rovers and Land Cruisers, the Prime Minister is now being transported in the highly armoured, blast-proof vehicle.

Sources report that the vehicle was acquired after several rounds of negotiations between the company and the SPG, where the latter examined the protective features of the car and ordered some modifications.

The Merc Maybach S 650 Guard is a top of the line protected vehicle for VIPs that costs around Rs 12 crore in the market. Though government sources are reported to have commented that the new cars are not an upgrade but routine replacement as BMW had stopped making the model used for him earlier.

“The cars cost much less than the media speculation, in fact, it is about one-third of the price quoted in the media,” an official source said. The Maybach S 650 Guard was spotted while the Prime Minister was welcoming the Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Hyderabad House in Delhi on the 6th of December 2021 and more recently, in the convoy during a rally.

“Security of the PM is a matter of consistent review. Vehicles are part of the process,” an official said. “The widespread discussion on the security features of the protectee’s car is not in the national interest as it puts in the public domain a lot of unnecessary detail. This only threatens the life of the protectee,” the source added.

The Mercedes Maybach S 650 Guard: Key Details

Impressive Safety Features

The S 650 Guard has a certified ballistic protection level of VR10, the highest certification standard available to civilians.

It is also certified with the 2010 Explosion Proof Vehicle rating. The car is made of the reinforced body shell and glass housing which can withstand exceptional explosives charges, and even bullets fired from military assault rifles.

Blast Protection:

This Maybach can withstand a 15 kg TNT explosion from only a distance of two meters. The car windows are four-inch-thick and have a coating of polycarbonate from the inside.

Furthermore, the under-body has been designed in such a way that it protects the passenger inside during any explosion. Also, a separate air supply can be provided in the cabin of the car for emergency purposes.

The vehicle can also cope with smoke or irritant gases with its emergency fresh air system protecting the passengers.

The armoured car runs on Michelin PAX run-flat tires that allow the vehicle to run as much as 30 kms after going flat.

The car has a self-sealing fuel tank and comes with an inbuilt fire extinguisher. The tank is made of similar material used by Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters.

The seats have a massage function with 3 different modes. It also has multi-zone climate control and a 360-degree camera. It comes with a spacious cabin fitted with an array of high-quality upholstery options and plenty of other convenience features.

Specifications of the Mercedes Maybach S 650 Guard

The car is 5.45 m long with a wheelbase of 3.36 m that is longer than the regular Mercedes S Class. The heavy doors of the vehicle use an electric motor for opening and shutting.

The car has a 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 engine which is capable of generating 516 bhp maximum power and 1000 Nm of torque from below 2300 rpm. Its 463 kW (630 hp) motor accelerates the car from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds.

The top speed is electronically limited to 190 km/h.

Special Protection Group Norms

The elite Special Protection Group (SPG) security detail has a six-year norm to replace vehicles used for VIPs like the President and the Prime Minister of India. The reports from official sources claim that an audit raised objections overusing the same cars for over eight years and not replacing them as such a delay is compromising the life of the Prime Minister.

The decisions relating to models and purchases are to be based on the threat perception of the concerned VIP. These decisions are usually taken independently by SPG without any input from the protectee.

SPG submits the request for a new vehicle based on security requirements, and orders are made for multiple units, including decoys. Depending on the threat level of the head of state of the country, the necessity for a vehicle upgrade will be decided by the SPG team.

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