For the first time ever, the Conquest Vehicles Knight XV will land on European soil next year. It will venture there to make an appearance at the Top Marques Monaco 2011 car show in April.
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The images don't do this car justice. It looks fairly large and intimidating on the screen but in the flesh this car is quite a lot bigger than it seems. It's actually a lot bigger than a H2 Hummer - as you can see by the image below. It's also a lot tougher than the Hummer or indeed any other four-by-four out there.

Covered in masses of high-strength steel, aluminium, ceramic and opaque composites the car is heavily armoured in every aspect, and is capable of protecting the occupants from blasts and gun shots within point-blank range.

The XV was developed as an armoured vehicle from the ground up, obviously, and also features bullet-proof ballistic glass windows and high-resistance door hinges, just in case anyone tries to infiltrate the cabin. There's even a special firewall compartment in between the engine bay and the cabin for extra protection.

To emphasise just how 'heavy duty' this car is, it is actually based on a Frieghtliner chassis (a full-blown truck). The only part of this 5500kg bad boy that lets it down somewhat is the engine.

It's a comparatively piddly 6.8-litre V10 offering 298kW of power and 677Nm of torque - this truck clearly deserves a supercharged V8 or V10 of some description outputting at least 400kW and 1000Nm to lug around all that mass.

The standard engine then is mated to a Torqshift five-speed automatic gearbox. In case the wheels are targeted by the enemy, the Knight XV also rolls on solid 22 inch rims supporting massive 385-section Michelin XZY tyres.

It's pretty much the most outrageous and extravagant off-road car on the market in America, and a very expensive one at that. Prices start at $US400,000 (around $401,100 at the current exchange rate). A recent company report said of the car,

"With its distinct size, extraordinary security features and ultra-luxurious interior appointments, the Knight XV provides one of the most unique vehicle ownership experiences in today's SUV marketplace."The innovative and incomparable Knight XV takes approximately 4000 hours to hand build with precision craftsmanship and attention to detail that one can expect from a vehicle of this caliber."