Armored vehicles are, if I might say it, extremely my shit. They’re not extremely my shit in the sense that I think about and research them constantly, staying up to date with the latest armored-vehicle gossip and such, because I actually very rarely think about them and often forget they exist. But when I do remember, all I can think about is how extremely my shit they are.
Perhaps that’s because we’ll all need an armored vehicle when the world spirals so far down the toilet that we can’t come back from it one day (today?). Perhaps it’s just because they’re cool. I don’t know.
But this week’s reminder that armored vehicles exist and are my shit is brought to us by Volvo, a car company that makes cushy vehicles that aren’t designed to be blown up along with cushy vehicles that are designed to be blown up. (Well, they’re designed to survive being blown up, but you know. Close enough.)
Volvo announced a new armored XC90 Wednesday, which can be conveniently found under the “Armoured Cars” section on the company’s website. It’s all very casual. The XC90 Armored is right there on the page, and Volvo said it’ll come in two flavors: heavy armor or light, for when you’re feeling less threatened.
Volvo began work on the heavily armored XC90 two years ago after receiving “numerous requests” for one, it said, and the finished product has an armor rating certifying its 360-degree ballistic resistance and explosive resistance. It’s meant for high-profile people and the security services that transport them, and Volvo said it can be ordered now.
The heavily armored XC90 starts out as the T6 Inscription version of the SUV, which means it has all-wheel drive and a 316-horsepower engine that’s both turbocharged and supercharged. Volvo sends those cars off to German armored-vehicle company Trasco Bremen, which adds nearly 3,100 pounds of armor but keeps the SUV “barely distinguishable from a standard XC90,” Volvo said. The SUVs also get upgraded suspension and new brakes to cope with the weight.
The XC90 with light armor gets converted from the same trim, and, according to Volvo, “primarily provide[s] protection against handguns.” That only adds about 550 pounds, and Volvo had some recommendations for its use:
Users could be individuals or companies requiring a car with a higher level of protection due to a geographical risk or a heightened personal threat. A market for these types of protective vehicles also exists among security services, the police, the diplomatic corps and private individuals.
The cars are intended for Latin America and Europe. After construction, they are retrofitted in Brazil, where there is considerable demand for these types of cars as well as substantial experience of building them.
Sales on the lighter version of the XC90, Volvo said, are planned to start in the “first half of 2020.”
But enough of the details already. What really makes armored cars my shit is when the armor gets tested, because it’s a lot cooler and less horrifying than crash testing, which just reminds everyone of their own mortality and makes us feel like we will all most certainly die (we will, someday).
It looks like neither Volvo nor Trasco Bremen shared videos of the XC90 armor testing, but Jalopnik has asked both for footage of it. For now, though, we can just add our own sound effects to the photos below.
Go ahead. Ping ping ping ping, crrrrrrrsh, ping ping, and so on.
Armored cars, y’all. They’re extremely my shit.