It is no secret that South Africa’s roads pose various risks, be it kidnappings, hijackings or stone-throwing, we are in daily danger on our roads. Especially when you get stuck in traffic, stop at a traffic light, or must stop at a farm gate, you should be on your guard.
Armoured vehicles are nothing new, we see them daily on our roads and of course there are also more luxury vehicles available that are armoured for the sole purpose of getting “very important” people like politicians and other high-profile occupants safely to their destinations. But what about ordinary people?
Armoured Mobility offers secured vehicles
Armoured Mobility, a South African company with branches in Sandton, Durban and Cape Town, offered ProAgri the opportunity to get an armoured vehicle under eyes and we also had the opportunity to test drive for a few days. The question on everyone’s lips was whether this is practical or whether there really is a market for such a type of vehicle, and the answer is devastatingly yes.
According to South Africa’s crime figures, 22 742 vehicles were hijacked in 2023. These events are sometimes accompanied by serious injuries, so an extra layer of protection makes sense.
Nabeel Kahn, general manager of Armoured Mobility, says: “We initially only supplied armoured vehicles for government and security services, after which a huge demand arose for securing other people’s vehicles as well. Unfortunately, this is a sign of times we live in. Of course, we all wish there was no use for armoured vehicles, but the safety of people on the roads and inside their vehicles is a priority for us.”
Nabeel explains how they operate: “Our ongoing internal research and ballistic testing of materials ensures that we always offer the best protection to our customers. Our armoured vehicles are built with state-of-the-art, certified, composite, lightweight armoured solutions. All our work is done according to international specifications and our protection levels and manufacturing pass the Armscor certification levels, which impose strict requirements for armoured protection.”
Armscor is the procurement agency for the South African Department of Defence.
He adds: “Today we offer any person the choice to protect themselves and their family with an armoured vehicle that looks like the factory model. We make the necessary changes on your current vehicle to your specification level. All armoured materials are discreetly integrated into the vehicles’ existing design to protect the vehicle’s passengers, without any visible changes.”
All armoured vehicles go through rigorous inspections before leaving the factory.
“We do not compromise on our quality, and we are dedicated to producing exceptional armoured vehicles, so we offer up to a two-year warranty on workmanship and a five-year warranty on our glass,” says Nabeel proudly.
Armoured Mobility offers two specification levels you can choose from: a B4 or a B6 armoured specification level.
B4 armoured specification level
Nabeel explains: “The B4 armoured specification level offers protection against small arms such as a 9mm, .40, .45 and .375 rifles, with protective glass 21,5 mm thick and Kevlar plates for the panels suitable for protection against a typical hijacking. Kevlar is an organic lightweight fibre that provides high tensile strength, durability and improved protection.”
B6 armoured specification level
For those who want little more protection, there is a B6 specification level.
It is the highest level of armour for civilian use and can withstand attacks high powered weapons such as R1 assault rifles or AK 47’s. This is due to 36,5 mm glass and special reinforced steel plates.
“Our level B6 only adds about 350 to 500 kg of weight because of the high quality, lightweight armoured material we use. This additional weight remains below the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which means that there are minimal mechanical components that are needed to be replaced,” says Nabeel.
Test drive with the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro B4 armoured version
I initially thought the vehicle was going to be very heavy, and that the armoured material would have an impact on the vehicle’s performance, which was anything but the case! The impact on performance, fuel consumption and handling are minimal. You surely won’t get left behind in this modern Chery Tiggo 8 Pro and, moreover, feel safe on the road, even at night when you need to stop at traffic lights or toll gates.
All I did notice the difference is with the opening and closing of the doors; they feel heavier than usual. Speaking of heavy, with the B4 spec level, the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro weighs a mere 110 to 140kg more. Equipping a vehicle with a B4 specification takes about 7 to 10 weeks and making changes to a B6 specification take about 10 to 13 weeks.
Armoured Mobility are also the proud owners of Chery’s commercial branch in Sandton. Local prices for the special armour version of the Chery Tiggo 8 pro start at R1,2 million. Please contact them to test drive an armoured vehicle or for more information about their Chery range of armoured vehicles. You can even rent an armoured vehicle!
For more information about Armoured Mobility’s services and what they can offer you on your vehicle, visit their website at https://www.armouredmobility.co.za/.