The bullet-resistant bakkie – South African pricing and details

Mechanical engineering firm SVI says it will now offer a bullet-resistant Volkswagen Amarok in South Africa.

SVI said that the Amarok boasts 190 kW of power and 580 Nm of torque, with armour available in two different levels.

This will include SVI B4 handgun protection level armour, as well as B6 armoured protection which is capable of stopping bullets fired from assault rifles including AK47.

SVI said that the conversion entails stripping the interior to the bare metal and meticulously building the vehicle up as an armoured unit.

Special steel armoured plates and composite materials are used for the body and 38 mm thick armoured glass replaced the original glazing.

The suspension is upgraded to cope with the 650 kg additional mass. Fortunately, there is no need to touch the V6-powertrain as it still offers plenty of punch even after armouring.

The process takes around 12 weeks to complete and the end result is a vehicle that appears completely standard from both the outside and inside.

SVI said that the B6 conversion pricing starts to at R655,000 (excluding VAT) before options and the standard SVI warranty of 1-year/50,000km applies on the armouring for road use.

Ford armour 

In January the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa launched Ford-approved armoured protection for its popular Ranger model through SVI.

The Ranger is among the best-selling vehicles in South Africa, and the introduction of armoured protection will help establish its position in an entirely new segment both for private and fleet customers, the company said.

It noted that there are more than 18,000 vehicle hijackings recorded annually in South Africa.

“We see armoured vehicle protection as a next step into a potentially life-saving sector. Ford is leading the way in customer experience by offering this without affecting the Ranger’s full warranty and service plan, which is a first for any OEM in South Africa,” said Neale Hill, managing director of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

SVI  Engineering said that it will offer two levels of Ford-approved armoured protection for the Ranger, across all models, powertrains and derivatives.

B4 Armoured Specification

B4 offers customers bullet-resistant protection against handguns up to a .44 Magnum.

This is a typical anti-hijack solution that also offers protection against brick-throwing and other hand-held projectiles.

The protection consists of 18-21mm armoured glass, along with kevlar sheets for the body. It is extremely discreet and, at only 280kg on the Ranger Double Cab, also lightweight with minimal impact on vehicle acceleration, fuel consumption and dynamic performance.

The build time of a B4 armoured Ranger is around eight weeks.

B6 Armoured Specification

B6 is the highest level of civilian protection allowed without a special permit and has been designed for the valuables-in-transit industry as well as high-profile individuals needing the ultimate level of protection.

This has been designed to protect against the ammunition fired by the R1 assault rifle and the AK47. This comprehensive protection comprises 38mm armoured glass and special armoured steel plates.

Due to the additional 650kg of armour, the Ranger’s suspension is upgraded accordingly.

With the B6 armour protection option, customers can choose between a discreet appearance, or the cost-effective non-discreet option, called Stopgun V2.0.

The discreet option features upgrades not easily identifiable on the vehicle, versus the more obvious protection on Stopgun option.

The discreet option takes 12 weeks to build, while the Stopgun security option can be installed in only two weeks.

By responding to customer feedback, the B4 option is available only in the discreet appearance form, which caters mainly for those individuals who want a level of armoured protection without compromising the interior and exterior aesthetics of their vehicle.

Read: Here’s why there’s a shortage of new cars in South Africa right now

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The bullet-resistant bakkie – South African pricing and details