Texas Armoring Corp. outfits a terrorist-proof Land Rover Range Rover SuperchargedTue, 17 Apr 2012 00:00:00 -0700
“Life is valuable—protect it.”
That's the pithy motto of the Texas Armoring Corp. (TAC) in San Antonio. It builds about 200 armored vehicles per year for foreign diplomats and other high-ranking individuals.
TAC can covert big sedans, SUVs and even sports cars into armored carriers that can withstand assaults from terrorists, criminals and your run-of-the-mill kidnappers.
One of the company's newest finished vehicles is this plain-looking Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged SUV. TAC prides itself on keeping the look of the vehicles stock.
The conversion only added 1,400 pounds to the curb weight of the SUV, which keeps the handling feeling like stock and the ride height looking stock. For this vehicle, the company didn't need to call its engine partner in Texas, Hennessey Performance. If you need a bigger SUV, with more armor, you might need to upgrade to one of Hennessey's 800- or 1,000-hp engines.
This particular Range Rover was built for a client in Africa. Ballistic protection in the doors, roof and glass can stop a bullet from an AK-47, an M16 and even a sniper's .308. The undercarriage is covered in explosive-resistant material that can withstand a grenade, even one placed right under the gas tank.
That same tank can also withstand a bullet, even when it punctures the outer skin. The inside of the tank is coated with a resin liner that not only prevents explosion, but will seal back up when a bullet pierces it.
“Even if that [standard] tank doesn't explode,” said Jason Forston, vice president of TAC, “you'll be out of fuel, and it won't matter.”
The Range Rover was equipped with about $200,000 worth of protective equipment. Beyond the protection in the doors, TAC adds run-flat tires, upgraded wheels that can withstand blasts and electrified door handles.
If a stationary altercation becomes a car chase, the TAC-equipped Rover does its best SpyHunter impression with tire spikes and a smoke screen from the rear.
Though many of its products go overseas, lately TAC has had more business from this side of the Atlantic.
“Our business used to be 99 percent foreign and 1 percent American,” Forston said. “Since the economy has been down, we've seen our United States business double every year for the last three or four [years].”
Check out the video of the guys from TAC taking you through the features of the Range Rover, and if you can figure out a way to get through the defenses, let us know in the Comments section.
By Jake Lingeman