If you wanted an armored car, the easiest and probably the cheapest way is to own one (in the Philippines at least) is by buying from a grey-market seller. The only catch is these cars are likely based on standard production models which are then modified by aftermarket armorers. There won’t be any dealership insurance either.
But if you want something armored straight from the automaker’s factory, Audi might have something just for you: the new A8 L Security.
Like most other armored cars, the A8 L Security looks just like another A8 L on the road apart from the extra blue LED lights. However, the German marque says that it offers high levels of protection and meets the VR9 resistance class for the body and class 10 protection on all glass surfaces. This means the car can withstand 7.62mm cartridges (yes, the one from an AK-47) and even explosives.
As a result, the A8 L Security does weigh quite a lot, specifically 3,875kg. However, not all of the weight is due to the armor upgrades. Audi has added a bunch of features to the car as well including a fire-extinguisher system all around the vehicle. Meanwhile, an armored box at the rear incorporates electronics for an intercom and an extra battery.
Aside from explosions and bullets, the A8 L Security also protects occupants from chemical attacks. An emergency fresh air system constantly checks outside air, and will automatically close all air flaps if high levels of pollutants are detected. Breathable air is then pumped through the air vents for a limited time.
In order to get the heavy car moving, under the hood, the A8 L Security uses the same engine as that found in the S8. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 produces 563 PS and 800 Nm of torque, allowing it to sprint from 0-100km/h in 6.3 seconds. A run-flat tire system allows the vehicle to still be driven at 80 km/h for a limited time.
Converting the A8 L to security spec takes around 400 hours, and is done in a “dedicated, high-security facility”. All vehicles are tested as well to ensure to evaluate their resistance. Considering the amount of work that goes into building one, expect prices to be a lot more expensive compared to any other armored car you can find being sold by grey-market sellers.