Volvo has taken the wraps off its new XC90 Armoured, which it says was created after “numerous requests” for a bulletproof version of the flagship SUV.

After more than two years of development the firm has finally unwrapped an XC90 with a certified VPAM VR8 protection rating (the latter meaning it boasts “360-degree ballistic resistance” as well as “explosive resistance”).

Starting life as an Inscription version of the XC90 T6 AWD (with a twin-charged 2,0-litre, four-cylinder powertrain offering 235 kW and 400 N.m), the vehicle is sent from the factory in Sweden to a company called Trasco Bremen in Germany, where it gains 10 mm high-strength steel armour and 50 mm thick glass, among other items.

Volvo says the armour adds around 1 400 kg to the XC90, which brings the total weight of the car up to a whopping 4 490 kg (with five occupants on board). To cope with this increased heft, the vehicle is fitted with an uprated suspension system and new brakes.

Also read: How a production vehicle is converted into an armoured car

“We are proud to be able to offer these armoured cars. With our armoured cars, we can provide vehicles with a high level of personal security for individuals who require heightened protection,” said Stephan Green, marketing director at Volvo Cars Special Vehicles.

“The XC90 Armoured with VR8 protection rating enables us to offer a car that provides a high level of protection while retaining the car’s fundamental properties. Potential customers include security services who would use the car to transport high-profile individuals,” Green explained.

“Production is classified, with stringent procedures and oversight in place in order to attain the stipulated ballistic requirements. Production is carried out with extreme diligence, which is imperative in order to fulfil the exceptionally high requirements placed on this class of security product.

“We strive to ensure that the car retains its properties despite the extensive armouring. The armour is fitted discreetly to make the car barely distinguishable from a standard XC90. Every customer also has their own unique requirements, which we satisfy by means of customised production,” Green said.