Bulletproof cars are considered as the last line of defence when all other security measures have been compromised
Preferred by top diplomats, heads of state, businessmen, celebrities and other VVIPs, bulletproof cars are available in various formats. One can choose customized versions or go for factory-fitted models offered by OEMs. An example of the former is this modified Toyota Fortuner that has been made fully bulletproof.
Fortuner Legender bulletproof SUV
To ensure a premium feel, the modifier has used Legender kit for the bulletproof SUV. This kit is available for standard customization projects as well. Legender is the range topping variant of Fortuner and comes with a sportier profile. It offers some additional features and is available only with the 2.8-litre diesel motor.
Talking about functional features, the SUV has been equipped with thick bulletproof glass at front, side and rear. Exact measurement has not been revealed, but it is likely to be at least 2-3 inches wide. As the thick glass edges protrude on the inside, additional rubberized padding has been provided on the door frames. All bulletproof windows are unmovable, fixed units.
Doors of the SUV look like standard versions, but they have a bulletproof fibre sheet on the inside. As compared to metal sheet, a fibre sheet is lightweight. Another benefit of fibre sheets is that it minimizes the risk of shrapnel injuries. It can absorb the full force of the bullet without tearing it into pieces. Below is the detailed walkaround video for Fortuner Legender Bullet Proof, credit to Turbo Xtreme channel.
At the rear, the SUV has the standard tailgate. However, opening the tailgate reveals a straight wall made of thick metal sheet. It has bolts on both ends, which can be opened to access the luggage space. Due to the modifications, the luggage space is smaller as compared to that of standard Fortuner.
Underside of the SUV gets thick metal panelling to protect against small blasts. The level of blast protection has not been quantified, but it could possibly work against a grenade attack.
While this customized bulletproof Fortuner Legender looks formidable, it has a major weakness. The roof does not get any protection, which makes it susceptible to attacks from bullets as well as sharp objects. An assassin climbing the roof with assault weapons like AK-47 in crowded places or traffic signals doesn’t seem like a farfetched idea.
Another area of concern is the weight of the modified SUV. With the thick glass, metal sheets and other modifications, the SUV’s weight has increased by 1500 kg. This is almost double the carrying capacity if we assume 7 passengers weighing 100 kgs each.
Due to the increased weight, the SUV seems a bit bulky to drive. The steering wheel has become hard and speed and acceleration are likely to be impacted. Toyota Fortuner’s diesel engine produces 204 PS power and 500 Nm torque, which doesn’t seem to be enough for this beast. It is also not certain if the SUV has been equipped with critical features like run-flat tyres, emergency oxygen supply, etc.