All with minimal impact on its performance.
South African armored car specialist Armormax has developed an armoring package for Volkswagen's latest Mk8 VW Golf GTI that can withstand fire from a range of pistols and shotguns, including .357 and .44 Magnums. It's not the first time Armormax has put its particular set of skills to work on an interesting car, having sold the world's first armored Jaguar I-Pace last year and performed similar conversions on the previous Mk7 Golf, but this package weighs just 396 pounds. That's the equivalent of carrying two average-sized male passengers, which, according to Armormax, leaves economy and performance largely unaffected. Just as impressively, the finished product gives almost nothing away to the fact it's armored.
It's hard to dispute Armormax's claim that by adding its package to the Golf GTI, you then have "the safest performance hatchback on the road today."
The armor package replaces the Golf GTI's standard windows with Optima ballistic glass, while the panels, pillars, rear seats, and hatch are fortified with lightweight synthetic armor. Armormax also adds a push-to-talk radio to the inside of the car. However, this won't be filed under bulletproof or bomb resistant.
Armormax has designed its Golf package to meet the European B4 standard, meaning it could withstand small arms fire such as pistols and shotguns. The B5 level is classified as protection from rifles like the AK-47, while B6 caters to high-power rifle protection. Full B7 standard is the highest available on the European EN 1522 / EN 1063 ballistic resistance scale and can withstand fire from armor-piercing rounds. This armor is typically incredibly thick and heavy, usually the reserve of bespoke armored creations, which is why the Golf GTI is limited to B4 protection.
"The B4 Golf was a daring project back in 2018 but was met with immense interest and several orders were taken," claims Armormax's Michael Broom. "There was never a question that we would develop the world's first armoring package for the new model, knowing that there would be a high demand. Its most popular application remains in the private security sector as a chase, rapid response, and principal extraction vehicle."
Armormax also leans heavily into selling its packages to individuals and businesses, claiming "South African crime and hijacking statistics are frightening," with the 2021 footage of an armored truck driver coming under fire sticking out as one incident in recent memory. The first model the company built is based on a high-spec model and has a price tag equivalent of $106,830.40 in the US.