$500,000 a Knight

High-class se­cu­rity Cana­dian-style comes at a price, writesMARKHINCHLIFFE

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

NO, IT’S not an ex­tra from a Trans­form­ers movie. It’s the Knight XV, a Cana­dian ar­moured ve­hi­cle that looks like a Hum­mer on steroids.

And with a right-hand-drive ver­sion avail­able, it could be com­ing to Aus­tralia, com­pany spokesman Seth Feller says.

‘‘Sev­eral Aussies have ex­pressed in­ter­est in ac­quir­ing the Knight XV and we ex­pect to have a few Down Un­der within 12 months,’’ he says.

‘‘We are work­ing on pric­ing the Knight XV with right-hand drive and es­ti­mate it would be about $500,000.’’

At 6m long and 2.5m high, the Knight XV is sub­stan­tially big­ger than a Hum­mer H2.

It’s based on Ford’s F350 pick-up truck, but it’s big­ger— much big­ger, like 5.5 tonnes.

Most of that weight is in the ar­mour-plat­ing and 6cm-thick ar­moured glass. The doors are so heavy they have re­in­forced hinges.

Feller says the Knight is for peo­ple who need lux­ury as well as se­cu­rity.

‘‘Our tar­get mar­ket con­sists of high-net-worth in­di­vid­u­als, pro­fes­sional ath­letes, mu­sic artists, heads of state and au­to­mo­tive col­lec­tors who are looking for a be­spoke ve­hi­cle that de­liv­ers top-notch se­cu­rity and lux­ury,’’ he says.

‘‘Also, be­cause of the size of the Knight XV, any­one who likes mak­ing a grand en­trance would cer­tainly en­joy the Knight XV ex­pe­ri­ence.’’

The Knight XV comes stan­dard with night-vi­sion cam­eras front and rear, a roof-mounted cam­era and tyres that will sur­vive most gun­fire, but still func­tion if punc­tured.

Se­cu­rity op­tions in­clude more sur­veil­lance cam­eras, an ex­ter­nal lis­ten­ing de­vice, un­der-ve­hi­cle mag­netic sen­sor to de­tect ex­plo­sives, a GPS trans­mit­ter, bolt-lock door sys­tem, roof-mounted search­light, oxy­gen sur­vival kit and a smoke se­cu­rity sys­tem.

The Knight XV is pow­ered by a 6.8-litre V10 Ford en­gine with 298kW and a huge 677Nm. If that’s not enough, a tur­bocharger is avail­able as an op­tion.

For the gree­nies, it will also run on 85 per cent ethanol mix­ture and a diesel en­gine is avail­able.

The com­pany calls it its ‘‘first ul­tra-lux­u­ri­ous, fully ar­moured, en­vi­ron­men­tally re­spect­ful, hand­crafted SUV’’.

But a 151-litre fuel tank and the op­tion of an aux­il­iary tank in­di­cate it doesn’t have great econ­omy (fig­ures are not avail­able).

The Knight XV sits on 20-inch wheels with 40-inch desert tyres and has 4WD with a five-speed auto.

But just be­cause it’s big, ugly and ar­mour-plated doesn’t mean it has no lux­ury items. In­side are six leather seats with a con­fer­ence ta­ble, wool car­pets, DVD sys­tem, suede trim and lap­top plugs.

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