BRABUS is well known for its high-performance upgrades to Mercedes-Benz models and while that forms the bulk of its business, the company can also do special protection vehicles for customers who need protection from more than just accidents.
For example, the company produces an innovative variant of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class armoured in accordance with the VR6 Plus ERV standard, known as the Invicto. The all-terrain vehicle comes in three different versions: Pure, Luxury and Mission.
In order to provide the occupants with maximum protection against small arms fire and explosives, the engineers from Brabus developed the “Invicto Shelter Cell”, a self-contained, self-supporting and bolted-down protective cell.
In addition, there are further protective elements that are in part produced using a special 3D printing process and, of course, all-around extremely tough bulletproof glass.
After extensive ballistics and explosives testing, the protection levels of the Invicto are confirmed to meet high industry standards.
The armoured SUV can resist not only 7.62 x 39 calibre rounds (used in automatic weapons such as the AK-47), but also hand grenades and 12.5kg explosive charges.
However, the high level of protection remains largely unseen from the outside. It’s all “under the skin” with high-tech materials used.
A common feature of all three models is the innovative special protection package developed specifically for the body of the G-Class. The doors and the hatch are fitted with newly developed protective elements, including extremely tough bulletproof glass.
In order to fit them into the body of the G-Class, the engineers developed an innovative structure for the upper windscreen frame.
It is the first time anywhere in the world that protective elements are used which are made in a 3D printer using additive manufacturing processes.
Unlike vehicles where the armour is retrofitted, the individual elements of the protection system by Brabus is not welded separately into the bodyshell of the vehicle. Everything is bolted-down as a unit.
To this end, the company manufactures precise-fit, hot-rolled steel armour plates and additional protective elements made from materials such as carefully selected fabric and fibre structures as well as from ceramic and metal composite materials.
Among the many special constructive features of the Invicto Shelter Cell is the fact that there is no narrowing of the door openings whatsoever. Getting in and out of the vehicle comfortably is crucial for many owners of a G-Class. In addition, the protective cell has a zero-gap design.
This means that the individual components of the armour are installed without any gaps between them. This is of elementary importance for providing maximum security under small arms fire or an explosive attack.
But active safety is not overlooked either and the engineers revise suspension settings and also components to match the increased weight as well as maintain safe handling. There’s also a high-performance braking system and 20-inch wheels with special run-flat tyres.
In addition, the vehicle frame was reinforced in the area of the side members and the strut towers were reinforced as well.
Despite the outstanding level of protection added, the weight increase is only about 1,000kg, which is relatively little in comparison.
The INVICTO can be ordered with various petrol engines available for the current G-Class models. The cost of the protection packages start at €354,600 (RM1.6m). If you are someone who needs such protection, chances are the cost will not be an issue!