In light of the Coronavirus Pandemic, President Ramnath Kovind has undertaken several steps to reduce the government’s expenditure and one of those steps include the deferring the purchase of his new limousine – the Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman Maybach Guard which costs an estimated Rs 10 crore.
Currently, the President is using an older generation of the Mercedes-Benz S 600 Pullman Guard (based on W221 S-class) which was unveiled globally back in 2011 and came into service during the tenure of President Pranab Mukherjee. This model offers VR7 level of protection and is powered by a 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V12 petrol engine producing 517 hp and 830 Nm torque.
The latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman Guard – the model that’s been deferred – was unveiled globally in 2018 and offers VR9 level protection which means it is capable of withstanding 7.62x51mm rifle rounds. This model comes fitted with ERV (Explosive Resistant Vehicles) 2010-level and can withstand 15 Kg of TNT from a distance of 2 metres.
It is powered by a 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine that makes 530hp and 830Nm of peak torque. On the inside, however, the limousine comes with one of the most luxurious cabins in any car. And given that this vehicle will be servicing the President, it means it would be coming with several modifications, both on the inside and on the aspect of safety.
Other measures being taken by the President include a 30 per cent salary cut for the whole year and reduction in domestic tours and programmes. This comes after the Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu announced last month that he would forego 30 per cent of his salary till normalcy is restored.
(With inputs from PTI)