SKODA is going into the armoured car business with a specially modified Superb Estate that has been developed in conjunction with a UK conversion specialist.
The bullet and blast resistant car is the result of three years of work and is virtually indistinguishable from the standard production car.
Protection is provided by a combination of bullet-resistant glass, high strength steel and composite materials, yet despite this the fully armoured Superb retains its five-seater layout cabin, large boot and build quality.
The armoured car is based on a standard 2.0 TDI 190ps Superb Estate and although exact details of the conversion must remain secret, the passenger cell has been reinforced to the extent that it meets the so-called PAS 300 requirements for ballistic and blast protection.
Certification was carried out by an independent test facility and involved firing different types of ammunition at the vehicle and exposing it to blast and fragmentation threats.
The suspension and braking systems have been upgraded to account for the additional weight of the car, with the former modified to ensure safe and accurate handling at high speeds.
Other features incorporated into the design include adaptations to the wheels that can continue to run even if the tyres are deflated - allowing the driver to get to a place of safety after a blowout - and an emergency lighting and siren system.
The car also features an eight-inch touchscreen communications hub with GPS, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
The final on-the-road cost of an armoured Superb is Â£118,688 - four times that of the standard model - and, like all new Skodas comes with a three-year warranty as standard.