Mukesh Ambani, India's richest man, has just bought his latest car: the most powerful, and armoured Mercedes Benz for his personal security.
The fortified Benz is mounted on a normal S600. The RIL car has Level-9 vehicle resistance (VR9), the highest available currently. It was customised at Benz's Sindelingen plant in Germany.
This is Ambani's second big ticket purchase this year after he spent Rs 8.5 crore on a new armoured BMW in April.
The base price of the S600 is Rs 1.5 crore. But this armoured car is likely to cost a lot more, because of import duties of 300 percent, and the sophisticated armour and other additions made to the car to make it secure. The total cost might well be around the same price he paid for the BMW.
The Benz was registered at the Mumbai Central Regional Transport Office (RTO) today. "As chairman of India's largest private conglomerate, Mukesh Ambani is the custodian of the interests of more than 2.8 million shareholders. He has Z-category security since April 2013. An armoured vehicle complies with advice of the security establishment for protectees of this level," said a source who is aware of the purchase.
An email to RIL spokesperson seeking details wasn't answered.
Demand for super-secure carriages for apex protectees in the world of business, politics and the arts has been surging globally. RIL, the source said, had to queue up at No. 57 on the global wait list for the 2015-model armoured S600. This meant a wait of eight months before the car could land in India earlier this week.
The 2015-model S600 V-9 armoured vehicle is the first in India. Actor Aamir Khan has the 2014 model.