From Ambassador to Presidential limo Mercedes Benz S600 Pullman Guard: Pranab Mukherjee gets ready to be sworn in as India’s 13th President (Photos & Video)
Mr Pranab Mukherjee will be sworn in as the 13th President of Republic of India today and for the first time in his five decade political career, he will give up his trusty Ambassador and step into the Presidential stretch limo, Mercedes Benz S600 (w221) Pullman Guard specially designed for him. The Mercedes Benz S600 Pullman Guard was taken into service during the tenure of Pratibha Patil, the previous President of India. At the Delhi Auto Expo earlier this year, Mercedes Benz India had displayed the S600 Pullman Guard.
Once the President steps into the vehicle and the doors slam shut, there will be no interference from the outside. The President’s potion of this limo has been segregated from the rest of the vehicle by a sound proof glass partition. It’s out here that the President can choose to listen to silence or keep updated about current affairs in the country while traveling.
While the exteriors present a wow factor to the limo, it’s the amount of security features that defines the vehicle as a presidential escort. This vehicle is heavily armored and designed to withstand small arms fire, grenade attacks as also fragments from explosions. The windows and windshields have a 60 mm polycarbonate coating which acts as a splinter shield. Its 90 liter fuel tank is self sealing while there is also a fire extinguisher onboard just in case. An emergency air supply system has been installed to help in case of an attack. A rear surveillance camera alerts the driver in case of an ambush. Bullet proof tires can run at maximum speed of 80 kmph for about 30 km in case of an attack with total loss of air pressure.
Seating arrangement inside the car has been designed so as to allow the President to have face to face meetings if he wants to. There is an integrated communication system with interior and exterior microphones which allow for the President to communicate with people outside. Leather upholstery, GPS modules and Tele Aid allow for the president to be connected to the outside world even while travelling. There is a panic button which when once triggered shuts all doors and windows from inside. The car is powered by a V12 bi turbo engine, and costs about Rs. 12 crores as compared to the Ambassador which costs Rs.10 lakhs.
Read the press release below for more information about the S600 Pullman Guard
Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman Guard (Armoured Limousine)
Auto News Release
Mercedes-Benz S 600 Pullman Guard: The new large state limousine from Mercedes-Benz
Luxuriously spacious and superbly comfortable
Twelve-cylinder engine with 380 kW/517 hp
Stylish interior with electrotransparent partition
Advanced entertainment system for rear passengers
Integrated Highest Protection rated to B6/B7 level
Mercedes-Benz is proud to present a prestigious new luxury limousine – the S 600 Pullman Guard with integrated Highest Protection. This new model is the latest in a long and unique tradition of large, armoured, prestige limousines from the world’s oldest automaker. It was 80 years ago that Mercedes-Benz became the very first car brand to develop and manufacture Pullman limousines with special protection characteristics.
Mercedes-Benz’ unique wealth of experience as well as its role as a technical pioneer in the construction of prestigious special-protection limousines – a role which has been demonstrated time and time again over the years – puts the Stuttgart-based premium brand in a class of its own in this demanding segment. This is why governments, heads of state and royalty all over the world choose to make dignified progress in Mercedes-Benz limousines which are eminently worthy of the “Pullman” label. Like the famous Pullman railway coaches, the state limousines from Stuttgart are luxuriously spacious and outstandingly comforttable. The Pullman name was originally used to designate the luxurious open-plan railway coaches built by the American Pullman Palace Car Company. As early as the 1920s, this name began to be used in the car industry to designate large, comfortable touring cars and prestige limousines with a partition between the driver’s seat and the passenger compartment. Ever since, Mercedes-Benz has offered its customers Pullmanlimousines with an extremely spacious rear passenger compartment. Particularly notable among these are the Pullman limousines with an extra-long wheelbase which have been offered by
Mercedes-Benz since 1963 and which allow four passengers to sit opposite each other in truly grand style.
The luxurious Mercedes-Benz Pullman limousines offer their passengers not only a maximum of comfort, but also a superbly appointed setting for discreet meetings, equipped, of course, with all the key communications and entertainment systems. So they can always remain fully in touch with the rest of the world while enjoying the luxury and comfort of their own very special place in it.
Twelve cylinders and majestic proportions
The technical basis for the new Pullman limousine is provided by the S 600 Guard, the top of the Mercedes-Benz Guard range. It is powered by a superbly smooth twelve-cylinder biturbo engine with a displacement of 5513 cubic centimetres and an output of 380 kW/517 hp with an impressive 830 Nm of torque. As these figures suggest, the S 600 Guard Pullman can call on effortlessly superior power delivery, allowing it to get out of a danger zone rapidly, should the need arise.
The vehicle owes its remarkably spacious interior to its 4315-millimetre wheelbase (115 centimetres longer than that of the long version of the S-Class). Indeed, with an overall length of 6356 millimetres, the S 600 Pullman Guard is a vehicle of truly majestic proportions which are enhanced by the harmonious design. Furthermore, the more steeply raked rear window enables a 60-millimetre increase in roof height which makes for more generous headroom in the rear compartment. As a result, the latter is now slightly higher than that of Mercedes-Benz’ top-of-the-range S 600 model. Moreover, the vehicle’s ride height can be raised pneumatically by some 40 millimetres. In conjunction with correspond-dingly larger door cutouts, these characteristics ensure even greater comfort and dignity when getting in an out.
Extensive modifications to body and suspension
Although the Pullman version is based on the S 600 Guard, both the suspension and basic vehicle structure of the latter had to be modified extensively in order to ensure that the high Mercedes quality standards would not be compromised in any way by the extra-long wheelbase. It would be impossible to guarantee the long-term overall stability of the vehicle if the lengthening process consisted simply of inserting an additional body section. Measures to reinforce the vehicle structure were therefore included right from the design stage. Along with the armour steel in the protective cell, high-alloyed special steels are used in the sidewalls and floor assembly. These measures provide a sound structural basis for the installation of the heavy special-protection elements.
The Mercedes engineers have revised the air suspension system and chassis to cope with the extra loads associated with the protective elements. Notable details include:
Reinforcement of the links between the suspension components and the bodyshell
Specifically targeted modification of the suspension components themselves
An additional brace (strut tower brace) between the front suspension struts
Two additional steel springs at the rear to complement the air suspension
Larger twin-calliper front brake discs for optimum deceleration at all times
Run-flat wheels developed by Michelin (PAX), featuring an inner supporting ring on a special wheel rim and offering outstanding run-flat properties even when the tyres are completely deflated
Furthermore, the suspension is designed to ensure that the excellent level of comfort typical of Mercedes is maintained despite the increased weight of the vehicle.
Even the electronic control systems such as ESP® have been adapted by the chassis specialists to optimise them for the changed requirements. This is particularly important in order to ensure that the driver can always count on the support of these assistance systems, not least in emergency situations. In addition, the S 600 Pullman Guard is fitted with the full complement of airbags as well as a new windowbag which was specially developed for the Pullman in order to protect all the passengers in the extended rear compartment.
It goes without saying that the new S 600 Pullman Guard has been through an extensive test programme and has undergone comprehensive quality testing like all other Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
Stylish and elegant interior
Fine woods and exquisite leather – every detail of which is crafted to perfection – lend a stylish and elegant ambience to the interior of the new Mercedes-Benz S 600 Pullman Guard. Characterised by sheer luxury in a way which is both unobtrusive and unmistakable, it is designed to offer the maximum degree of comfort. In keeping with the Pullman tradition, the rear compartment is nothing less than a lounge on wheels where four passengers can enjoy the journey in comfortable face-to-face seats.
A standard-fit electrotransparent partition with an advanced lightweight structure provides a sight and sound barrier between the high-ranking passengers and the driving area – allowing the former to engage in conversation, make phone calls or use the standard-fit rear entertainment system without being disturbed. The partition becomes opaque at the touch of button. This effect is possible thanks to a layer of liquid crystal film made from electrically conductive polymer material, which is integrated in the glass and whose crystals rearrange themselves to make the glass transparent when an electric current is applied. As soon as the electric current is switched off, the liquid crystals lose their clear-glass arrangement and the panel becomes opaque. Of course, the upper section of the partition can also be lowered electrically. A standard-fit intercom ensures that the driver and passengers can communicate at all times.
As one would expect, the new state limousine comes with a very high level of standard equipment. This includes a powerful, specially optimised, rear-compartment air conditioning system and a unique, state-of-the-art infotainment system which is able to play all popular media formats in outstanding quality. The visual centrepiece of the system is a newly developed 19-inch flat-screen display with a 16:9 aspect ratio (widescreen format), outstanding contrast and colour depth. It is housed behind the rear-facing seats and deploys when required. The system, which is able to show DVDs, digital TV and other video sources in excellent quality and also offers connectivity for USB memory sticks and MP3 players, is operated by means of a convenient, high-quality control unit with an integrated 6.1-inch touch-screen display and DVD drive housed in the centre console between the rear-facing seats. An extra remote control can be used as an alternative. Outstanding sound reproduction is provided by high-quality loudspeakers in the doors and rear shelf. An interface for internet access and a high-performance refrigerator compartment are also included as standard equipment.
Improved multi-contour seats and soothing back massage
The standard-fit V12-design individual rear seats offer a high level of comfort. In addition to their more comfortable geometry (their backrest angle is less upright than that found in the standard S-Class), they are equipped with massage and multicontour functionality as well as active ventilation. The individual facing seats featuring electric fore/aft adjustment and seat heating have the same high-quality design.
A particularly striking feature of the interior is the centre console which is structured both functionally and visually to form several sub-consoles. The individual fine-wood elements have leather-trimmed lids:
The console between the rear seats is equipped as standard with a thermostat-controlled refrigerator compartment (down to 4 degrees Celsius) and cupholders.
Between the backrests of the rear seats, two touch-opening compartments provide stowage space for a mobile phone and two beakers.
The rear-facing individual seats are also separated by a console with a large stowage compartment for beakers or bottles. In addition, the face of the console which is inclined towards the rear seats accommodates the air-conditioning controls and the control unit for the rear entertainment system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen display.
Situated between the rear-facing seats are cupholders, an analogue clock and air outlets for the separate, powerful rear air-conditioning system.
The remaining space at foot level is occupied by another compartment with a wooden cover which can be used to hold a telephone, for example.
Electric roller blinds for unrestricted all-round vision
Newly developed electric roller blinds for the windows in the rear compartment provide protection from prying eyes. Compared with curtains, this sophisticated roller-blind solution has the advantage that the rear passengers can enjoy almost unrestricted all-round vision when the blinds are rolled up, whereas curtains limit the field of vision, even when open. Furthermore, the roller blinds reinforce the sense of interior space.
Ambient lighting in the rear creates a welcoming atmosphere in the dark while pivoting lighting with spotlights for all rear passengers provides ideal conditions for reading and working in the new S 600 Pullman Guard. What’s more, the rear compartment lighting units comprising reading and interior lights are housed discreetly in the grab-handle module.
Safety of the very highest calibre
The driver and front passenger of the S 600 Pullman Guard as well as the occupants of the VIP individual seats in the rear compartment benefit from the all the restraint functions which can be found in the S 600. These include front airbags which deploy in one or two stages, depending on the situation, sidebags, specially developed windowbags for the longer rear compartment, belt tensioners and NECK-PRO luxury head restraints. The rear-facing seats are equipped with classic head restraints and three-point seat belts. The response behaviour and reaction times of all the restraint systems have been adapted in line with the extra weight of the new Pullman limousine. This ensures that the occupants benefit from the highest Mercedes-Benz standards of safety.
Technical innovations from the S-Class on board
The S 600 Pullman Guard offers most of the technical innovations which make the Mercedes-Benz S-Class the number-one trailblazer in passenger car development and the world’s best-selling luxury saloon. These include important developments such as the new COMAND APS system.
Mercedes-Benz’ night view assist system reduces the risk of accidents during the hours of darkness. This system is based on infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye and will therefore not dazzle oncoming traffic. Two infrared head-lamps illuminate the road, significantly extending the driver’s range of vision when on low beam. An infrared camera mounted on the inside of the windscreen picks up the reflected image of the road ahead and displays this in the instrument cluster.
Integrated special protection for outstanding safety
Furthermore, the new Mercedes-Benz S 600 Pullman Guard offers its demanding passengers effective protection from terrorist attacks. Its Highest Protection status means that it has been engineered to resistance level B6/B7, as tested and certified by state-approved organisations, and also meets additional requirements which are not stipulated by any standard but which are tested by public and independent organisations. Its armour resists military-standard small-arms projectiles and provides protection against fragments from hand grenades and other explosive charges. Additional safety features include run-flat tyres, a self-sealing fuel tank and a fire-extinguishing system.
In order to ensure that the vehicle offers effective protection, specialists with many years of experience in this field apply the principle of integrated special protection to the Pullman limousine. In effect this means that, rather than retrofitting the protective elements in the doors, rear wall, side panels, roof lining and firewall etc. of a vehicle which has already been built, they fully integrate them into the bodyshell during the assembly process, an approach which provides additional reinforcement for the body structure. The resulting vehicle offers hallmark Mercedes-Benz build quality combined with comprehensive Highest Protection characteristics, even in those areas where retrofitting would be all but impossible. The basis for this is the long-standing, continuous and close cooperation with nationally and internationally recognised security authorities. For decades, this has ensured that the Mercedes specialists have been able to continuously increase their expertise in the fields of development and manufacturing while also applying their vast experience in vehicle protection technology and ballistics to meet the highest standards.
Thanks to the seamless integration of the special protection features, the paint quality and corrosion protection match the high standards of Mercedes-Benz series-production vehicles.
Fully equipped for emergencies
The special-protection equipment package for the new S 600 Pullman Guard also incorporates the following features (selected examples):
A pneumatic emergency control system for the power windows, which operates independently of the on-board electronics
A special-protection fuel tank that reseals itself if perforated by shrapnel
A panic alarm system which can be activated from anywhere in the vehicle. It locks the doors to create a protected zone and alerts the outside world by means of a visual and audible alarm signals. It also allows communication with the outside world via an intercom
An optional rear camera which monitors the area behind the vehicle
A heated front windscreen and heated (in the area of the mirror triangle) front windows, and this despite the use of special glass
An infinitely adjustable doorhold system for all four doors
Rear doors that are pulled shut automatically over the last few millimetres
Meeting individual requirements
The new S 600 Pullman Guard is, of course, a Mercedes-Benz through and through – with all that that implies in terms of the scope it offers for individualisation with a wide range of paint finishes, leather appointments and wood trim elements. Even unusual customer requests can be met with the designo range which allows the most specific of requirements to be turned into reality.
With its generous spaciousness and comfort as well as its top-flight technology and appointments, the new S 600 Pullman Guard is a worthy successor to the long line of state limousines from Mercedes-Benz. It all began with the special-protection variant of the “Nürburg” 460 (W08) series of 1928. At the beginning of the 1930s, this was followed by the 770 (W07) “Grand Mercedes” – which provided protection befitting the status of Japanese Emperor Hirohito, to name but one prominent user – and by further special-protection variants of the 500 (W08) and 770 (W 150) model series. In the 1960s, the legendary Mercedes-Benz 600 took on the mantle of state limousine for a period of almost thirty years, which saw it serve as an official vehicle not only for the German government, but also for many other countries’ leaders and royal houses. Further special-protection Pullman versions of the Mercedes-Benz S-Guard followed their distinguished predecessors.
Uncomplicated service and comprehensive support
It goes without saying that all Mercedes-Benz Guard vehicles can be serviced or repaired at any Mercedes-Benz service outlet anywhere in the world – a key component of the brand’s comprehensive, uncomplicated, high-level service concept.