Security for the worst-case scenario.
The tests are anything but ordinary. Specialists from the Ballistics Authority in Ulm are required to shoot at an E-Guard – a heavily armoured E-Class Mercedes-Benz – from all possible angles. And in some cases using large-calibre pistols. Several dozen shots are fired, aimed primarily at weak spots which on other armoured vehicles often provide protection which is all too insufficient: for example the transition area between door, body and the special glass. Or the door lock and air supply intake for the air conditioning system. To be able to meet the stringent requirements imposed by the VR4 security standard, the independent experts test how the vehicle behaves in every conceivable worst-case scenario. They try repeatedly to damage the interior of the E-Guard with projectiles – but to no avail.
80 years of experience in building security vehicles.
For more than 80 years, Mercedes-Benz has been developing vehicles capable of protecting their occupants against almost every type of attack. Due to the special protection which they often require against personal attack, executives, politicians and prominent figures the world over have been placing their trust in the special protection model launched four years ago: the E-Guard. The reinforcement measures integrated into the interior are hidden out of sight and yet provide an outstanding level of security.
Personal protection in the interior.
The reason for the high standard of security provided by the E-Guard is among other things the heavily reinforced armouring made of the latest glass/plastic composites and high-strength special steel. It is installed using sophisticated, overlapping structures based on a labyrinth system. This design deflects projectiles and reliably prevents them from penetrating into the passenger compartment. Since the armouring is not retrofitted to the vehicle, but rather integrated into the body early on in the production process, potential sources of danger are excluded in those locations on the vehicle to which subsequent access would in fact not be possible.
Special floor armouring.
Additional protection is afforded by special floor armouring, which has demonstrated its “detonation protection” in a variety of different explosion tests. The tyres too are designed to perform in specific emergency situations and can maintain a steady course even when deflated, enabling the vehicle to be driven safely out of danger at speeds up to 80 kilometres an hour.
The E-Guard’s protective equipment can also be supplemented, for example with an emergency alarm system which in the event of a threat initiates an emergency call at the touch of a button. An intercom system also allows communication between the protected passenger cell and the outside world.
Comfort and protection.
To ensure that the vehicle is able to move safely, quickly and comfortably through traffic, despite the increased weight resulting from the protective measures, both the suspension and brakes, as well as the electronic control and restraint systems of the E-Class, have been adapted for the E-Guard. In braking tests, for example, it has been demonstrated that the additional protective components have no effect on performance: the vehicle comes to a standstill with precision. The extremely high level of general safety which is characteristic of Mercedes-Benz has also been tested and ensured in special crash tests. As a result the special protection vehicle is also able to fulfil all of the requirements in the event of a collision. Furthermore, additional harshness tests, such as fatigue loading on simulated rough roads, brake tests in Alpine passes, climate tests in extreme temperatures and corrosion endurance tests, all help to ensure the hallmark reliability of Mercedes-Benz and the high level of comfort of the E-Class Saloon models.