Is the XC90 Armoured the safest Volvo yet?
If there is one brand of cars that has a reputation for passenger safety, it’s Volvo. It was a Volvo engineer, Nils Bohlin, who invented the three-point safety harness. Now, Volvo has increased passenger safety by a few quantum leaps with the introduction of the XC90 Armoured [sic]. The reinforced bulletproof SUV will be marketed to individuals who need a high level of protection as well as to government security agencies.
The global market for armored vehicles is growing, according to Volvo, and the company says that it has received numerous requests for a XC90 that has been upfitted for security. Competitor Mercedes-Benz offers armored S Class and Maybach models with B7/B8 level protection. Volvo says that the XC90 was chosen for armoring because its “size and nature” make it most suitable. In other words, it’s big enough and fancy enough to carry people who think they’re important.
The armor-plated XC90 has a VPAM VR8 protection rating. That means it has resistance to explosives and 360-degree ballistic resistance to projectiles.
The XC90 Armoured starts out as a XC90 T6 AWD in Inscription trim, built at Volvo’s assembly plant in Torslanda, Sweden. The SUV is then shipped to TRASCO, a vehicle armoring specialist, in Bremen, Germany. The exact armoring process is classified, but we do know that about 3100 lbs of 10-millimeter (⅜-inch) thick high-strength steel and bulletproof glass up to two inches thick is added, bringing the total weight of the car up to almost five tons when loaded with passengers.
To deal with that mass, the suspension has been upgraded and bigger brakes have been fitted. No mention was made of an upgraded powertrain, so you can expect relatively sedate 0–60 times. Of course, if you can afford an armor-plated SUV, you can probably afford to take it to a tuner for increased power.
No matter the significant increase in weight, Stephan Green, Marketing Director at Volvo Cars Special Vehicles, says that Volvo “strive[s] to ensure that the car retains its properties despite the extensive armoring.” Each XC90 Armoured will be customized per the customer’s individual security requirements.
Sales for global markets begin immediately, with first deliveries scheduled for the end of 2019. No pricing information has been released yet.
Volvo will also be offering the XC90 and XC60 Inscription models with less armoring for those individuals and concerns that require heightened protection but not quite at the level provided by the XC90 Armoured. Those vehicles, aimed at the European and Latin American markets, will go on sale in 2020.