Armoured vehicles are a common sight in military, but having such a vehicle in the consumer sector is something that hasn’t been common sight. However, there are places such a conflict zones and war-torn countries where security of the elite calls for need of specialised vehicles and this has led to a small but very specific market for Conquest Vehicles.
Back in 2006, Conquest Vehicles’ former president William Maizlin had the idea of a consumer grade armoured vehicle. This idea led to the creation of the first Knight XV, which was displayed at a car show in Las Vegas in 2008. Instant interest led to formation of Conquest Vehicles and commercial production of the handmade armoured vehicle.
The 6,400 kilograms behemoth can be fully customised internally based on requirements of the client. Though the base price of the truck is US$629,000 (as revised in 2011), the truck is sold at much higher prices owing to the refinements and customisations that the clients opt for.
The Knight XV truck is built on Ford F-550 chassis; however, Conquest Vehicles actually machine their own parts out of stainless steel and aluminum. 17 have been sold until now to the elite in Middle East and other countries including a few in China. The company isn’t willing to give out details of its clients owing to security concerns; however, it did provide information that basketball star Dwight Howard has bought one, as did the prince of the United Arab Emirates.
Just to give you a glimpse of what the new 012 Knight XV base model carries: the armoured truck features an interior cockpit, front and rear commercial grade air ride suspension, front power windows, and 360-degree roof mounted, joystick controlled searchlights. Under the optional packages, customers are provided with options such as electrostatic tinting (rear windows, sunroofs, partition), rear power windows, retractable ballistic glass partition, retractable flat screen television, siren, 2-way PA system with loud speaker, hidden front VIP strobes lights, forward and backup sensors and an external intercom communication system and Playstation3 or X-Box entertainment system.
Further, those who believe that they are under high-risk can opt for a security upgrade package that provides under vehicle blast protection system, opaque floor armor protection upgraded, under vehicle magnetic attachment detector, Black box, security safe, fire extinguisher, exterior surveillance camera system, positive pressure defense system against gas attacks, oxygen survival kit which offers protection against tear (CN/CS) as well as solid, liquid and gases contaminants.
The company says that the windows are 3.2 centimetres thick – enough to stop a bullet from an AK-47.