The Czech representative office of the Audi car company Přelouč joined the company SVOS, which has been involved in the production of armored vehicles and bulletproof glass for the civilian and military sectors for more than 30 years. This will give the Czech people the opportunity to purchase light armored vehicles.
Next to the invisible Audi Q7, bullet-riddled side mirrors are on display. From the back, “nipples” developed from the centers. But the glass holds. It is a special product produced by the company SVOS in Přelouč, which specializes in cars with all levels of ballistic protection. This glass is also installed in the gray Audi, so it should protect the crew from bullets from a 9-millimeter pistol.
The front side of the glass is covered with foil. “That’s because of the people we show it to, because they always put their finger in the bullet hole there. They can injure themselves from the piece,” explains Ladislav Pék, head of strategic development at SVOS. The company is responsible for manufacturing the bullet proof protection for this family Audi on display.
For the first time in the Czech Republic, this is the official cooperation of a car dealership with a company that develops ballistic protection. The protection level corresponds to BR2. The Q7 has bulletproof side windows, including smaller windows in the boot area and a windshield. All four side doors are bullet proof. However, the rear glass cannot be replaced without structural intervention in the car, which SVOS wanted to avoid, as Audi cannot guarantee a warranty to the customer.
“The glasses are 14 millimeters thick instead of the standard six, and we have to see through the sheet,” he explains. For Hospodářské noviny Maintenance. At least they provided bullet proof plates from the back of the rear seats.
The front windows can usually be rolled down electrically, but the rear windows are fixed. In a car, the average viewer can’t practically tell the difference unless they know where to look. What details are involved? Dark side window frames and a dark rectangle instead of the virtual head-up display on the windshield. Even the weight of the door is almost imperceptible, because the Kevlar material used in bulletproof vests is included in the filling, which is very light, and not a bullet-piercing metal sheet.
Overall, the car is about 80 kilograms heavier. The customer’s equipment costs three quarters of a million crowns without VAT.
Marcel Archlep, head of Czech Audi, believes that the partially armored Audi will find its customers, and he aims not only at the public sector, but above all at private customers. “It may appeal to people who have never imagined that such an option exists. A premium, family car can have mild ballistic protection. After all, that’s why we chose the Q7 as the first model. But practically no Audi frameless door should be modified in this way. Of course, the big It makes a lot more sense for models,” Archlep thinks.
SVOS also knows there is potential for sales. It offers armor replacements for practically all brands, so it’s all down to the customer. “For example, when we talk to people from companies that provide security services, we know that the influential and wealthy often live in remote locations and want to feel more secure and protect their family members. The car is a very vulnerable place. You have nowhere to escape.” Sales manager Radom Blazek explains.
However, the company reserves the right to refuse a customer if, for example, he is active in terrorist organizations or has been prosecuted for criminal activities. That is why SVOS has so far avoided building armored cars for the private sector, and while it has built more than 7,000 armored cars in its thirty-one year history, it has mainly supplied them to the state or military sector. After all, this was also mentioned in the first interview conducted by the management SVOS presented to the media. It was published last year in Hospodářské noviny.
The Q7 can withstand bullets from a 9mm pistol. | Photo: Eva Srpova
The Czech dealership has not decided how many light armored Audis it will sell. “We practically don’t have targets. If it’s ten or twenty pieces, it doesn’t matter. But we wanted to offer this option,” says Archlep.
In addition to private clients, he wants to reach out to the government sector. “I can imagine that ministers or people who are politically or socially active might ride them,” Archlep thinks. He laughs when asked by the president’s bodyguards and members of Prague Castle’s security service if he wants to drive around in Audis, now ballistically modified BMWs and especially Skoda Superbs. “We don’t want to destroy our own corporate brand, but to change the competition, of course we want that and we have those ambitions.”
After all, Audi has long offered the armored Audi A8 delivered directly from the factory, which, thanks to the BR9 ballistic protection, can withstand, for example, an explosion or a machine gun, and costs from 15 to 20 million crowns without. VAT. This Audi A8 Long with the engine of the S8 was borrowed directly from the German headquarters by the Czech delegation and drove the politicians during the Czech presidency of the EU last year.