Security-conscious motorists have pre-ordered 155 of Audi’s new armored SUV, making it likely the auto maker will meet its goal of selling 250 this year in Mexico.
Manufactured especially for the Mexican market and other Latin American countries, the bullet-proof sport utility vehicle is a modification of Audi’s Q5 Elite, a compact luxury SUV that normally sells for about 900,000 pesos (US $48,000).
The armored version, first presented in January, is nearly double that at 1.74 million pesos.
The company’s corporate and armored vehicles manager described the model’s sales as “a resounding success.”
Jorge Ochoa Casillas said the vehicle’s level of armoring is “standard for common situations, such as an armed assault in Mexico City.”
The doors, tailgate, roof and side walls as well as the firewall to the engine compartment are reinforced with parts made of high-strength steel, which can resist attacks by handguns up to 44-magnum in caliber, while the car’s windows consist of multi-layer bulletproof glass, the auto maker said.
On the outside, the Q5 is practically indistinguishable from the usual production models, but it fulfills ballistic requirements and standards.
The bulletproofing adds 550 kilograms to the SUV’s weight.
Audi said private citizens purchased 40% of the units that have been sold, while the remainder went to companies that offer armored vehicle services.
The Q5 is assembled at Audi’s Puebla plant, where all the armoring and equipping takes place. The company said it intends to start exporting it soon to the Argentinian and Brazilian markets.
Source: CNN Expansión (sp)