Audi Debuts New A8L Security, We Detail Its Vulnerabilities Real and Imagined

2016 Audi A8L Security

When Audi declares that its updated A8L Security armored car meets “class VR 9 ballistic protection standards,” which are “currently the most stringent requirements for civilian high-security sedans,” we imagine the car can take a hit. Exactly what type of hit? Well, since the old A8L Security met ERV 2010 classifications (that’s “Explosive Resistant Vehicle”), as well as the weaker VR 7 ballistic standard, it can brush off various explosive charges like IEDS, tank shells, AK-47 fire, and, now with VR 9 protection, even more. But what’s the fun in listing the stuff this Audi can survive? It’ll of course stand up to a coordinated ground attack far better than, say, a used Geo Metro. So here are a few vulnerabilities we uncovered from the car’s press release alone:

2016 Audi A8L Security

More Speed: With its optional 500-hp W-12 engine, the A8L Security can hop-scotch to an electronically limited 130-mph top speed. What, only 130? The lowish figure marks the upper limit of the special run-flat tires. Grab a faster vehicle, like, say, a Lexus ES350 or a Dodge Charger R/T, two rentable cars which reached terminal velocities of 131 mph and 149 mph in our testing. Sure, baddies can park it next to you at a buck-thirty and lob ordinance, but when they can go 131 or higher, they can conceivably get in front of your armored car and block you.

Exceed the Payload: Audi says the A8L can handle a payload of up to 1322 pounds. You know what that means: Stack a nice round 1400 pounds on the Security’s roof, and . . . well, we’re not sure what would happen besides the A8 gaining an interesting-looking hat. But maybe it wouldn’t move, or worse. Ominous-looking warning stickers don’t exist for no reason, right?

Top-Secret Ballistic Standards: Sure, the A8L Security improves on its predecessor’s VR 7 ballistic rating with a VR 9 certification. But what about VR 10? The higher rating doesn’t officially exist, and of course it goes unmentioned in Audi’s press materials, but who’s to say a top-secret VR 10 or VR 11 isn’t out there, possibly unlocked with a briefcase full of Benjamins? For buyers of the VR 9–rated A8 L Security, imagining what sort of intercontinental missile fire protection they are missing out on is nearly as bad as not knowing whether or not they’re missing out on it in the first place.

The Paranormal: All the ultra-thick glass, aramide fabric, high-tech aluminum alloys, and hot-formed steel armor in the world can’t stop apparitions, persistent demonic possessions, or spiritual intrusion. To give Audi some credit, basing the Security model on the long-wheelbase A8 (and offering a “relaxation” rear seat) affords occupants room to perform séances and perhaps even a quickie exorcism.

Elaborate Ruses: When a violent attack seems fruitless, especially in the face of this Audi’s impressive protections, there’s always the art of the con. The A8L is only as fallible as the humans inside it, humans who have an intercom system to communicate with the outside world as well as control over a selective door unlocking feature. With pitch-perfect trickery, you can get inside the occupants’ heads via the intercom—should they decide to talk to you at all—and manipulate them into unlocking the doors. Being a Jedi helps in such scenarios.



Those are only a few potential weak points on a car that, otherwise, will get its occupants through hell and, well, not too high of water (another vulnerability!). Audi will offer an emergency exit system and an emergency fresh-air system and an emergency fire extinguisher system. After making its debut—ideally not in an explosive manner—at the 2015 Frankfurt auto show, the harder-core A8L Security will go on sale in April 2016. In the meantime, stay in your bunker or in your outgoing A8L Security.

2015 Frankfurt auto show full coverage

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