Motoring Reporter
2 minute read
16 Sep 2015
8:00 pm

Range Rover Sentinel is top class security on wheels

Motoring Reporter

The new Range Rover Sentinel is the first luxury armoured vehicle to be fully engineered by Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) and is hand-built at its Oxford Road facility to provide high levels of protection against a wide variety of attacks.

The Sentinel is based on the standard wheelbase Range Rover Autobiography and, outwardly, looks identical to the standard model. This mobile fortress is designed to withstand the most damaging and targeted of threats, including penetration by 7.62mm high velocity, armour-piercing incendiary bullets. This exceptional vehicle delivers lateral protection against up to 15kg Trinitrotoluene (TNT) blasts and defence against DM51 grenade explosions from both beneath the floor and above the roof.

At its core is a specially developed six-piece armoured passenger cell, made of super-high-strength steel, providing world-class protection from attack. The standard glass has been replaced by multi-laminated armour privacy glass of optical quality, providing excellent clarity for the driver and occupants, while also delivering bullet protection. The Sentinel is fully certified to VR8 standards against ballistic threats by QinetiQ – an independent organisation formerly part of the British Government’s Defence Establishment Research Agency.

The Sentinel retains the plentiful legroom of the standard model and comfortably seats two full-size adults in the rear. A payload of up to 650kg can be carried, thanks to revised Dynamic Stability Control and Ride Stability Control systems. The Command Driving Position found in all Range Rover vehicles remains, giving the driver a clear and unobscured view of the surroundings, particularly useful in the event of an attack.

The Range Rover Seninel is designed to withstand the most damaging, targeted of threats. Picture: Supplied

The Range Rover Seninel is designed to withstand the most damaging, targeted of threats. Picture: Supplied

The suspension has been uprated to ensure Range Rover’s standards for ride comfort and handling are retained, yet still delivers precise on-road dynamics to allow occupants to escape attack. The Sentinel has undergone the same testing as a standard production vehicle and retains the outstanding off-road capability for which Land Rover is famous.

The Sentinel has an anti-tamper exhaust, a self-sealing fuel tank, auxiliary backup battery and a split charging system. The 100mm opening in the driver’s window for document delivery ensures the vehicle is secure. The load space features anti-smash protective glass, ensuring the cabin remains a safe house.

When it is time to leave in a hurry, run flat inserts in the tyres – fitted to special 20-inch split rim alloy wheels – allow the vehicle to be driven even if the tyres are deflated. This system ensures – however determined the attack – the Sentinel can use the considerable performance of its 250kW 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine, in conjunction with a specially-calibrated ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, to escape. In addition, 380mm front and 365mm rear ventilated disc brakes, both with high-density pads, allow impressive stopping power when needed.

The Sentinel will be available in SA, and customers can visit their nearest Land Rover dealership to register their interest.