Armoured limos are so dreadfully flashy, aren’t they? Watch any world leader in their armoured transport and it’s likely to be something premium – the Mercedes S-Class is a favourite worldwide.
Anyone watching the Donald Trump/Kim Yong Un spectacle in Singapore will have been greeted by the sight of blacked-out cars carrying the two leaders and their retinues.
Each of those vehicles will have been rolling fortresses, protected from bullets, bombs and possibly even chemical attack.
But a blacked-out Mercedes or American-style SUV is rather an obvious choice, so Skoda has identified a gap in the market for those who want their tank-like transport to be a bit more discreet. Enter the armoured Skoda Superb. Yes, really.
On the outside, the Superb looks entirely standard. It’s based on the estate model, decked out in a discreet grey and fitted with a pragmatic 2.0-litre, 187bhp diesel engine.
The sensible exterior belies the car’s capabilities, though. It’s been modified and reinforced to meet PAS 300 requirements for ballistic and blast protection and is totally bulletproof.
Skoda’s keeping quiet about the car’s full specifications on safety grounds but has mentioned a few more modifications.
Suspension and braking have both been uprated to cope with the extra weight, while the car rides on specially reinforced run-flat tyres. Passengers ride within a safety cell, and there’s also an emergency lighting and siren system if you feel the need to part surrounding traffic.
The interior remains virtually unchanged, but that’s no bad thing – the Superb has ample legroom, and the usual interior fittings remain including an 8-inch colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
The armoured Superb has been developed by Skoda in conjunction with a UK-based converter. It will be available to order from standard Skoda dealers, but you’ll need to dig deep – prices start from £118,688. Compare that with a Mercedes-Maybach S600 Guard, however, at £438,000, and things begin to look a bit more reasonable.