There are certain features one expects in a luxury SUV. Your surroundings should be plush with lots of expensive leather, chrome, open-pore wood and piano black everything. Seats should make you feel like you’re being cradled on a heated and/or cooled cloud of fluff and several massage selections are a nice touch. There should be power everything and a stereo system worthy of Carnegie Hall. It should also be safe, which is why the bulletproof, grenade-proof 2016 Range Rover Sentinel exists.
Clearly, this is not an SUV for just anyone. This is the luxury SUV for the discerning individual with lots of money and lots of enemies. We’re not talking the guy who throws you under the bus in the boardroom by blaming you for poor sales last quarter. These are the kinds of enemies who hire a bus full of mercenaries armed with guns and grenades and maybe even rocket launchers to take you out on the way to the office.
The Range Rover Sentinel is the work of Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations Division and is hand-built at their Oxford Road facility in the UK. The base of this armored wonder is a standard wheelbase Range Rover Autobiography so it doesn’t attract any more attention than other Range Rovers. It looks perfectly normal, but it’s not.
The Sentinel is verified to VR8 standard against ballistic threats so it can withstand armor-piercing incendiary bullets and DM51 grenade explosions. It also has a six-piece armored passenger cell made from super-high-strength steel and multi-laminated armored privacy glass that is bulletproof.
There is an anti-tamper exhaust, self-sealing fuel tank, auxiliary backup battery, and run flat tires to keep you moving in the event one of the armor-piercing incendiary bullets aimed your way hits a tire. Power to flee comes from a 3.0-liter V6 supercharged engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Should the vehicle be stopped, rear doors feature an escape hatch if they become too damaged to open properly and an onboard fire suppression system keeps flames at bay.
Sirens, strobes, and a PA system will announce to the world that reinforcements are required and assure you will not go down quietly. It’s an unassuming SUV until you want it to attract attention when the grenades and bullets start flying. All this fancy technology comes at a rather high price of around $450,000. Your bank account make take the hit, but you won’t have to worry about taking a bullet.