Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division has unveiled the stealthy Range Rover Sentinel, its first-ever internally developed armoured vehicle.
The Range Rover Sentinel was hand-built at SVO’s Oxford Road facility in the UK and is said to provide its occupants with “the highest levels of protection an SUV can offer against a wide variety of attacks”.
The Sentinel is based on the regular wheelbase Range Rover Autobiography and intentionally appears identical to this variant from the outside to avoid drawing attention to itself and its passengers.
It’s a very different story under the skin, however, where the Sentinel features a six-piece armoured passenger cell made of super-high-strength steel, while the standard glass has been replaced by multi-laminated armour privacy glass.
The result is a mobile fortress that can withstand penetration by 7.62mm high-velocity armour-piercing incendiary bullets, provide lateral protection against up to 15kg of TNT blasts and defence against DM51 grenade explosions from both beneath the floor and above the roof.
The Sentinel is certified to VR8 standard against ballistic threats by QinetiQ – an independent organisation that was formerly part of the British Government’s Defence Establishment Research Agency.
It gains an anti-tamper exhaust, a self-sealing fuel tank, an auxiliary back-up battery and a split charging system, as well as a 100mm opening in the driver’s window for secure document delivery and anti-smash protective glass in the load space.
Run-flat inserts in the tyres (fitted to special 20-inch split-rim alloy wheels) allow the Sentinel to be driven even if its tyres have deflated.
If the main doors are blocked by and accident or attack, occupants can exit the vehicle via the Emergency Escape System behind the rear seats.
Optional features include under-floor and under-bonnet fire suppression systems, a configurable siren system, emergency service lights and an external loudspeaker system.
Under the bonnet sits the brand’s 250kW 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine and a specially calibrated ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. The Sentinel’s suspension has been uprated to ensure its ride comfort and handling characteristics are on par with the regular model, while Land Rover claims extensive testing had proven it’s just as capable off-road as the standard car.
The Sentinel comes with a full driver training program to ensure drivers are familiar with all of the car’s features and are capable of handling it to maximum effect during challenging circumstances.
Land Rover SVO managing director John Edwards described the Sentinel as “one of the most extraordinary Range Rovers ever produced”.
It is fully EU homologated and will be available to order in the UK, Europe, South America, Africa and the Middle East later this month. Land Rover has given a price guide of “under 400,000 euro ($645,000)” for the Sentinel.
The armoured model will debut at the Defence and Security Equipment International Exhibition in London on September 15.