International Armoring, the company that helped build Rezvani’s tanklike armored SUV, has now put its protective touch on a Tesla Model S. Without changing the appearance of the sleek electric vehicle, the company’s Armormax lightweight armoring division has modified the Tesla to shield it from both ballistic and bioweapon attacks. So, while Elon Musk’s reputation continues to take hits during his struggles to produce the Model 3, anybody inside this armored Model S is safe from the haters.
As the Model S has grown in popularity, we’ve seen a variety of alterations to the family four-door. Aftermarket customizers have built Model S shooting brakes, coupes, and convertibles, so this armored Tesla should come as no major surprise, given the car’s popularity among wealthy, high-profile individuals.
International Armoring’s modifications endeavor to protect both the vehicle’s key mechanicals and the car’s occupants. The cabin, including the doors, roof, floor, and pillars, is reinforced with light synthetic-fiber laminates and heat-treated ballistic metals. All glass is replaced with a combination of layered glass and acrylic and polycarbonate laminates, which maintain an unobstructed view. The battery packs are armored, the suspension is reinforced, the tires are run-flats, and a siren and intercom system is integrated into the car. It works well alongside Tesla’s own Bioweapon Defense Mode air-filtration system in case of airborne chemical attacks.
Possibly the most impressive aspect of this build is the weight. International Armoring says the special armor and glass add only 550 pounds to the car, in part because the company avoided the use of steel. The extra weight will certainly hurt the performance and range of the vehicle, but that total mass is really not bad for a full-size armored sedan.
The package provides B4, B5, and B6 levels of ballistic protection, but not the top (“armor piercing”) B7 level. This includes defense against a variety of high-powered rifles, handguns, and shotguns. The exact Model S modded for this project was a 2018 P100D, but the company claims it can armor “a variety of trims with various features and battery sizes.” Pricing for the custom project is not listed, but for certain customers, like the businessman from the Middle East who commissioned this car, cost is probably not a major consideration.