Published October 01, 2013
Talk about American muscle.
Bulletproof SUVs are all the rage among celebrities and high-profile biz types these days, but one company builds a unique vehicle that’s a little harder to hit in the first place.
Texas Armoring of San Antonio offers a Chevrolet Camaro SS conversion that can’t exactly outrun a speeding bullet, but combines the performance of its 376-cubic-inch V8 with the ability to shrug off a .357 Magnum round.
Utilizing a combination of lightweight polyethylene-based armor plating and bulletproof composite glass, the company is able to provide a T4 level of protection against common small arms like 9 mm and .44 Magnum handguns, as well as 12-gauge shotguns. The equipment adds as little as 450 pounds and doesn’t have a major impact on performance, but buyers can opt for a supercharger upgrade that boosts the engine’s output from 400 hp to 550 hp to basically erase any weight gain.
Texas Armoring started selling the conversion about three years ago in response to customer demand, but a recent breakthrough is about to make it even more potent, according to Executive VP Jason Forston.
While the frameless door design of the Camaro makes it unsuitable for the strongest bulletproof windows available, by reconfiguring the layers of glass and polycarbonate in the construction of this transparent armor, the company was able to develop a version than can withstand fire from an AK-47 or AR-15, creating something along the lines of a T5 level of protection, but at the same weight and thickness as the standard T4 equipment.
Prices for the conversion start at $45,000, more than twice what you’d pay for a loaded Camaro SS, and can run as high as $80,000 with the addition of run-flat tires, a fortified roof and underbody protection, but could more than pay for itself if you end up on the wrong end of a loaded gun.