Armored vehicle specialist SVI Engineering is putting various OEM car components to the test.
Armored vehicle specialists SVI Engineering are putting OEM car components to the test to see how bulletproof they are against fire from an AK-47, with the engine block from a Volkswagen Polo being the latest item to take on rifle fire.
People often say the engine block is the only area in a non-armored car that can fend off bullets, but how true is this? To find out, the South African armoring specialists have sourced a VW Polo (a hatchback positioned beneath the VW Golf in certain markets) engine block and fired a 7.62 mm bullet at it. SVI didn't harm a functional hatchback for their experiment, and the block in question already had a hole in it after a con-rod blew through it from within one of the cylinders. But external force from a rifle is another thing entirely.
The cast iron of the block manages a fair job of withstanding the shot. While the round does penetrate one side of the block, it isn't able to make it all the way through. However, this doesn't mean you'll be able to still drive if someone opens fire at your engine block, as any coolant or oil channels could be penetrated.
"While an engine block may well be capable of stopping an AK-47 round, it provides only limited cover at best. In contrast, our 360-degree level B6 armoring packages have been meticulously engineered to minimize ballistic gaps, offering vehicle occupants the ultimate level of protection," said the company's Nicol Louw.
The video is the second installment in the Shoot Through series, which puts various automotive components to the test. SVI wants to entertain people but also educate potential consumers about how vulnerable a regular vehicle is to gunfire. Recently, the company showed what happens when a brake rotor is shot at - and the results were surprising.
"When you drive your standard vehicle, you can have engine blocks all around you or rather buy an SVI-armored vehicle [that could] save your life," quips Louw.
SVI is based in South Africa, where, unfortunately, carjackings are a common occurrence. Well-to-do citizens are electing to discreetly armor their private vehicles and the company offers an array of options, from B4-protected Mercedes-Benz S-Class sedans to B6-armored luxury SUVs.
The firm also specializes in more serious machinery, like the B6-spec MAX 3, a military-spec armored vehicle based on the Toyota Land Cruiser 79 that can be specced as either a personnel carrier or a pickup truck body style. B7 blast protection is also available. An even tougher MAX 9 - powered by a 6.7-liter Cummins engine - is also available, affording occupants protection from bullets, landmines, and more. Should you need to defend yourself, perhaps you should specify the turret-mounted weapons platform on the roof.
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