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Armored Škoda Superb from SVOS has a few tricks up its sleeve

Mon, 29 Jul 2013 00:00:00 -0700

We've all read about armored BMW and Mercedes-Benz cars, and a few of us can even spot them in traffic, but there are plenty of armored options for slightly less flash transportation. Large German sedans make great platforms for armoring, and are one of the most popular choices in countries where there is a need for that sort of thing, but they're far from being the only sedans that can offer security-minded customers the relative peace of mind that comes with ownership of such a car.

Besides, if you need to travel discreetly, a Mercedes-Benz S-class isn't always the best option -- which is why armoring companies will gladly modify less-obvious cars like the new Škoda Superb.

The 2014 Škoda Superb is now in its second-generation, and like its predecessor that went into production 13 years ago, it is based on a stretched Volkswagen Passat chassis. Volkswagen purchased the 118-year old automaker in the early 1990s and has since completely revamped Škoda's lineup with VW platforms and technology. Škoda currently enjoys some of the highest reliability and customer satisfaction ratings in Europe, and at the top of the range is the Škoda Superb, a midsize sedan (by American standards) that uses quite a few Volkswagen Passat mechanicals.

Runflat tires come standard with all the armored specifications.

The Superb model name actually dates back so some of Škoda's earliest sedans from the 1930s, which offered V8 engines and all-wheel drive, and though the first modern Superb in 2001 was a barely restyled Passat and a slow seller at first, it has since achieved solid success. The Superb's styling isn't what you'd call exciting, and on a trip to Europe you probably wouldn't notice it among all the other cars whose exterior designs are far more adventurous.

And that makes it the perfect platform for a stealthy armored conversion.

The Czech coachbuilder SVOS will armor a Superb equipped with any engine from the Škoda range, given the extra heft for the all the armor it makes sense to go for the top engine. That happens to be a 3.6-liter VR6 good for 256 hp. With the heaviest armor package offered for the Superb, the car is unlikely reach 60 mph in under 10 seconds; Škoda's excellent diesel engines aren't a bad option either, as most of these cars tend to work long hours in urban environments with long periods of idling.

There is more and more demand throughout the world for armored cars that aren't executive sedans, but rather, appear to be common, everyday vehicles like Škodas and Volkswagens. Stealth is just as important as armor when it comes to avoiding a random nontargeted attack, so not having a flash car in certain parts of the world is an asset in itself.

By Jay Ramey