New Delhi: In a massive security upgrade of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a highly sophisticated car Mercedes-Maybach S650 Guard has been included in his cavalcade that can survive bullets and explosive blast, the sources in the security set up said.
PM Modi was first spotted with the new car at Hyderabad House in Delhi while welcoming Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was on a two-day visit to India on December 6 this year and also it was spotted in the convoy in the rally recently.
Cars manufactured by BMW are among those used by the prime minister over the years. Here are some of the key features and specifications on the luxury car:
According to reports, the new vehicle is certified with VR10-level protection providing the highest level of protection and the car windows are coated with polycarbonate which can withstand hardened steel core bullets. Laced with the 2010 Explosion Proof Vehicle rating, it is a specialised vehicle which offers protection of occupants from a 15 kg TNT explosion within the perimeter of only two meters.
The vehicle's lower part is heavily armoured to protect the occupants from direct explosions while the cabin of the car has been designed in such a way that during a gas attack, the occupant will get air supply.
This armoured car is also equipped with special run-flat tyres that will continue to function in case of damage or puncture to ensure a quick escape from the danger areas.
The S650 Guard has a 6.0 litre twin-turbo V12 engine that produces 516 bhp and a peak torque of approximately 900 Nm while the maximum speed has been capped to 160 kmph.
This car has been designed on the order and the cost of car is unknown but several media reports pegged it to be around Rs 12 crore. Later, government sources put out a clarification on the price.
"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.
Official sources said the elite Special Protection Group (SPG) security detail has a six-year norm to replace vehicles used for the protectee, and the previous cars were used for eight years under Modi.
The decision to get a new armoured car was taken after the security review by the SPG which decided to add this highly acclaimed Mercedes-Maybach S650 Guard.
PM Modi used to travel in the Range Rover Vogue and the Toyota Land Cruiser since he assumed office of the prime minister while he used modified Mahindra Bolero when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.
(With inputs from IANS)