A key goal of the Town Car BPS development process was to build a vehicle that sets a new industry benchmark in the areas of protection, affordability, driving dynamics, and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The vehicle is designed, engineered and tested by Lincoln to provide protection from powerful handgun and high-power rifle rounds. Historically, the top original equipment manufacturer (OEM) competitors in the U.S. commercial armored vehicle industry have only offered handgun-level protection.
"About 300 OEM tests will be performed on Town Car BPS, including crash tests, which will make it one of the most thoroughly tested armored vehicles in the world," said Lauren Schafer, director, Lincoln Special Engineering Operations. "Additionally, we've conducted extensive ballistic testing at independent labs to validate the ballistic performance of our materials."
The global market for armored vehicles has grown rapidly in recent years. But nearly all protection vehicles in the marketplace today are up-fitted on an "aftermarket" basis often resulting in poor quality, vehicle dynamics and customer satisfaction.
Although the U.S. currently accounts for a relatively small percentage of the global market, demand is growing. Prospective customers include corporate executives, political dignitaries, government agencies, private citizens and leasing agencies.
It's expected that the vehicle will introduce new customers to the Lincoln brand. "We believe Town Car BPS will bring a whole new set of clientele to Lincoln that most likely would not have purchased a Lincoln before," said Mark Bentley, marketing manager, Lincoln Special Engineering Operations.
Lincoln Town Car BPS: Right Blend of Luxury and Security
The Lincoln Town Car BPS wraps occupants with comfort, luxury and serenity while employing North America's highest standard level of OEM ballistic protection. Some of the advanced ballistics materials employed in the vehicle are the following:
Advanced Ceramics: Key to the bullet-resistant characteristics of Lincoln Town Car BPS is advanced, defense-inspired ceramic composite technology. Used for many vertical surfaces, this ceramic composite material employs an acutely hard strike face to break up bullets and disperse their energy.
Ballistic Steel: Lightweight bullet-resistant plates of ballistic steel help fortify the advanced ceramic technology used in Town Car BPS with the integrity only steel can provide.
Ballistic Transparencies: Attackers tend to shoot at what they can see. For this reason, Lincoln Town Car BPS is equipped with thick ballistic transparencies - nearly twice the standard thickness specified by most other manufacturers, and capable of stopping high-powered rifle rounds.
Interwoven Aramid Fiber: A thick ballistic blanket of aramid fiber helps provide limited blast protection from underneath. Similar to the material used in soft body armor, these sophisticated threads are woven together and act like a catcher's mitt to stop shrapnel from entering the passenger compartment.
Run-Flat Inserts: Lincoln Town Car BPS comes equipped with run-flat inserts that allow the vehicle to keep moving even when tire pressure is completely compromised. These polymer wheel inserts allow 30-mph speeds for up to 30 miles.
Modified Fuel Tank: An optional modified fuel tank is offered to reduce leakage after a ballistic event.
Protection, Performance and Discretion
Lincoln Town Car BPS delivers the highest standard level of ballistic protection commercially available from any automotive manufacturer in North America. With this protection comes the ability to neutralize bigger, faster, heavier rounds. There is more power behind these shells and they impact with more energy. Within this class of ballistic threat are two main categories: bigger bullets that travel fast -- and smaller, piercing bullets that travel even faster. Lincoln Town Car BPS is equipped to stop them both, in addition to the many handgun levels that other armoring companies address.
"When under attack, passengers must escape the field of fire as quickly as possible. This is where Lincoln Town Car BPS excels with V-8 power and specially tuned, heavy-duty springs and shocks, " said Schafer. Utilizing advanced ballistic materials enables Lincoln to not only achieve a higher level of ballistic protection, but to also limit vehicle weight. The result is a durable and well-balanced chassis that can be driven with confidence.
Great effort has been taken to ensure that Lincoln Town Car BPS outwardly appears like any other Town Car. This includes ride height, special window cavities to accommodate thick ballistic transparencies, and exterior badges and trim that are no different from the base car. "The first line of defense for anyone at risk is discretion and the Town Car BPS epitomizes discretion in typical Lincoln fashion -- with comfort, security and elegance," added Jraiche. "Such attributes are the hallmark of Lincoln and the benchmark for an industry that demands absolute confidence in the mind of the consumer."
(Jan. 22, 2003)