The Bodyguard Cars of India06/01/2020
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The rich & famous, politicians and businessmen in our country tend to have bodyguards who follow them wherever they go. Most use bodyguards out of need, although there are many who deploy them as a status symbol. The cars these security guards drive are as important as the cars the VIPs use. They need to be reliable, and some prefer butch models which offer great street presence as well. In some cases, the bodyguard cars need to be fast to keep up with the high-end cars of their bosses.
The bodyguard cars are usually finished in black, white or silver. Vibrant colours are rarely used. I thought it’ll be interesting to look at some of the bodyguard cars of India.
The Innova is one of the most popular vehicles used by bodyguards around the country. Thanks to its bulletproof reliability & abuse-friendly build, you can still find the old Innova as well as the Crysta being used. We’re sure this MPV would be the top choice of the police department too, but its premium pricing keeps those numbers restricted.
Another popular bodyguard car is the Scorpio. It might be old, but it sure is macho & robust. Gautam Singhania is said to have used almost every version of the Scorpio over the years for his bodyguards.
The Safari is widely used in both the Prime Minister’s and the President’s motorcades, as well as by other politicians. We feel this is the most comfortable option for bodyguards, what with all that space & the cushy ride quality.
Although the Gypsy is popular amongst the Army and Police, a handful of VIPs have the car for their bodyguard’s usage. While a white Gypsy with the windscreen protector & safari-clad guards will give that “official” image, the Gypsy has its limitations (petrol only, basic cabin, bumpy ride, no air-con). This VIP uses a Gypsy for his bodyguards and wanted to replace it with bikes.
When money is no object, even your bodyguards can roam around in luxury! The second-generation Endeavour is a part of Mukesh Ambani’s security fleet. The car is also used by some other politicians as bodyguard cars.
This is another popular bodyguard car used by many businessmen as well as politicians, mainly due to its “mini Landcruiser” presence & reliability. The Fortuner is often seen in our PM’s motorcade.
A delicate luxury sedan is a poor choice as a bodyguard car! A businessman from Bangalore used a 520d (F10) for his security guards before replacing it with an X5. The 520d was probably a hand-me-down from personal usage.
The X5 is used by some businessmen & top politicians (as seen above). Famously, Ambani’s garage uses a fleet of white X5s. The cars in Ambani’s fleet are said to be the xDrive 30d variants. Nothing quite like 6-cylinder power to keep up with the lead car!
Mercedes GLE 43 AMG Coupe
A Delhi-based politician has a GLE 43 AMG Coupe for his bodyguards’ usage. The car has a 3.0-litre, V6 twin-turbocharged petrol engine that puts out 367 BHP and 520 Nm! This is unlikely to be the bodyguard’s primary car, but they do get to use it once in a while.
Land Rover Discovery
The 5th-gen Land Rover Discovery is part of the Ambani security fleet.
Range Rover Sport
Along with the Land Rover Discovery, Ambani’s bodyguards also have a few second-generation Range Rover Sports with them. These might look rich & classy, but keeping their shoddy reliability & parts support in mind, we think it’s a poor choice.
BMW 7 Series
A rare time when the bodyguards are more comfortable than their boss. This fifth-generation 7 Series is a part of the Bren Garage in Bangalore, and is mainly used by the owner’s security detail while his supercars are driven around.
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado
K. Chandrashekar Rao, the first Chief Minister of Telangana, has 4 white Land Cruiser Prados. The cars were bought in 2015.
Mercedes G 63 AMG
While only the rare HNI in India would use a G 63 AMG for his bodyguards, you’ll find them commonly used for this application outside India. Both the first as well as the second-generation of the car have been used as security cars more than you would think. The second-gen G 63 has a 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 producing 577 BHP and 850 Nm!
Poonawalla’s guards are sometimes seen in a BMW X6. This particular car is a Hamann Tycoon X6M based on the first-generation E71 X6. The X6 was one of the first SUV Coupes to be launched.
The fully-fledged Range Rover is commonly termed as the Rolls-Royce you can take anywhere. The third-generation as well as the fourth-generation Range Rovers have been seen being used as bodyguard cars by various VIPs. God help their reliability & upkeep costs though.
And of course, how can we forget the standard Indian workhorse, the HM Ambassador?! Famously used by politicians all over India for decades, the car was also used by bodyguards escorting the VIPs. This sedan was also taken by the CISF to demonstrate VIP protection skills. The model is RIP and thus, will disappear soon.
Another standard Indian workhorse extensively used by the police all over the country, and by a few politicians as well. The Bolero is cheap, tough, can carry many passengers and fuel-efficient. No wonder its seen everywhere.
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