Last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi bought a new Mercedes-Maybach S650 Guard which is an armoured vehicle. It replaced the BMW 7-Series Hi-Security. Now, the prime minister has been spotted once again in his new Mercedes Maybach S650.
The picture is shared on Instagram by carcrazy.india. In the picture, we can see Narendra Modi sitting in the back seat of the Mercedes Maybach S650. There are four bodyguards around the armoured vehicle. This is not the first time that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been spotted in the S650.
The Mercedes Maybach S650 that the prime minister is using is the new facelifted model that was launched in 2019. It gets a VR10 protection level, which is the highest-ever protection provided in a production car. It is capable of withstanding hardened steel core bullets and protecting the occupants from TNT blasts from a distance of 2 meters.
The price of the S650 Guard is not known. However, it is expected to be more than Rs. 12 Crores. This is because Mercedes sells the S600 Guard for around Rs. 10.5 Crores. Moreover, the Special Protection Group(SPG) imported two such S650 Guard. There are also some media reports that the SPG did not pay the whole Rs. 12 Crores because they do not have to pay tax duty on importing the vehicles.
The S650 Guard is powered by a 6.0-litre V12 engine that has been twin-turbocharged. It produces a max power output of 523 bhp and a peak torque output of 830 Nm. Before this prime ministers of India have used vehicles like BMW 7 Series High Security, Toyota Land Cruiser and Land Rover Range Rover Sentinel.
The S650 Guard caused controversy
When the Special Protection Group bought new S650 Guards, the leading political party in the opposition, Indian National Congress, has stated that the S650 Guard acquired for the Prime Minister is a heavy expense that should have been avoided in these tough times when the whole world is facing a crisis due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Congress also stated that the Prime Minister has changed his official ride five times since 2014 when Modi was elected as the Prime Minister for the first time. In the past seven years, the country has faced several adversities like failing businesses, salary deductions, job losses and other challenges that the economy faced because of the COVID 19 virus.
Another thing to point out is that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is promoting ‘Make In India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ campaigns very aggressively and the Mercedes Maybach S650 Guard has been imported to India. So, it does contradict the campaigns that the prime minister has promoted.
SPG on the other hand says, that it is a protocol to replace Prime Minister’s official car once every six years. The BMW 7 Series High Security that was being used before has now been discontinued.