Not quite Range Rover Sentinel, but covers the basics
If you visit any auto show in the Philippines, chances are you’ll see a wide variety of customized variations of SUVs, trucks, and vans. Many of the mods tend to be about off-roading or overlanding with big chunky tires and glamping/camping gear. Sometimes these vehicles are modded for the street with larger wheels, body kits, and even lavish interiors. Whichever you want to go, there are options out there.
But you don’t have to actually visit a car show to see one of the most popular upgrades for those vehicles. Actually, you probably won’t even notice unless you know exactly what to look for.
We’re talking about is vehicle armouring. Or armoring, for those of you in the UK.
We don’t really have to say why, but there is a demand for vehicles that have ballistic protection. That’s why there are many aftermarket companies offering all kinds of vehicle ballistic protection for their affluent clients, but it is a very rare occurrence to see a vehicle that is armored from the factory.
Factory armored vehicles do exist for the luxury sector; BMW has the Protection line, while Mercedes-Benz has the Guard line. In the case of Jaguar Land Rover, it’s called the Sentinel line, but that hasn’t exactly been offered in a while.
But what we just learned is that Land Rover Philippines is actually offering ballistic protection for what is easily their most popular model: Defender.
Speaking with Chris Ward, President of Coventry Motors which is the official importer and retailer of Jaguar Land Rover in the Philippines, we learned that customers can opt for a Defender with a certain degree of ballistic protection. This isn’t a matter of buying a local unit then having it bullet-proofed; the Defender will already arrive in the Philippines having already been upgraded.
This isn’t a Sentinel model; if memory serves, the Sentinel variant was only offered on the Range Rover and Jaguar XJ. What happens in the case of the Defender is that after a customer orders a vehicle, it is then sent from the UK to an authorized supplier that is located in Germany. There, it is given the ballistic upgrade package that covers the basics to make the cabin bullet resistant. After the work by the authorized supplier, the vehicle will then be shipped to the Philippines and then released to the customer.
There were no specifics given about the BR level, but from what we understand the current coverage is for handgun and rifle calibers. The Sentinel -if still being offered- is still higher because that tends to cover things like IEDs which is why such vehicles are usually for heads of state or government, but it's good that there is an armor protection package that is actually authorized by Land Rover.
It'll take time of course, but if you’re the type that needs that kind of protection, here’s a good option that (presumably) shouldn’t void the warranty.