The Range Rover Sentinel – a Fortress on Wheels
Following hot on the heels of the announcement from the Bentley Boys and their 300kph physics-defying SUV, comes news of a new Range Rover – the Sentinel – for those who don’t want to go very fast but do want to avoid the odd grenade or high-powered sniper bullet. Now powerful people with enemies can rest that much easier, or should that be travel without fear, as Range Rover has launched its first luxury armoured vehicle, capable of withstanding grenades and gunfire. The £360,000 Range Rover Sentinel is being billed as a “mobile fortress” which still delivers the comfort and capability of the standard 4×4.
Apparently Jaguar Land Rover has a Special Vehicle Operations department where the engineers and, we suppose, a few mechanics developed a six-piece armoured cell, made of super-high-strength steel to protect the passengers. Of course the standard glass has been replaced with multi-laminated bulletproof windows.
The Sentinel, which means guard or watchman or even lookout, has been designed to withstand penetration by 7.62mm high velocity, armour-piercing incendiary bullets, 15kg TNT blasts and DM51 grenade explosions from both beneath the floor and above the roof. So, would-be assassins will have to go down to the local arms bazaar for a serious arsenal upgrade before attempting to tackle this behemoth.
The Sentinel has an anti-tamper exhaust and self-sealing fuel tank to prevent sabotage, and run-flat inserts in case the tyres are shot out. If the main doors are blocked, it’s possible to escape through a special Emergency Escape System behind the rear seats and for a price, the SVO will add nearly any bespoke feature you can think of – from sirens to a champagne cooler.
It’s impressive that from the outside it looks pretty much like any other Range Rover Heritage and is said to have fairly much the normal abilities of the rest of the range. A company spokesperson went as far as to say “the abilities of the car are uncompromised” so the Sentinel’s off-road abilities should match those of the standard car. It comes with the 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine we’ve seen in the Jaguar F-Type, and the ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox, but with so much extra weight it’s unlikely to be as spritely as the standard car. Knowing this, Land Rover offers a driver training programme to purchasers to make sure that the chauffeur can handle the vehicle in an emergency situation.
The jaw-dropping off-roader, based on the Autobiography-spec Range Rover, is the most expensive model ever made by Land Rover. It only makes us wonder what sort of fuel economy you can expect from it. But then, if you can afford one, you probably own an oil well or two.