After threats from underworld elements were aimed at Salman Khan and his father Salim Khan, the Bollywood veteran has decided to make a sizeable investment in his personal security. The superstar has decided to upgrade his LC200 generation Toyota Land Cruiser with armour and bulletproof glass.
Initially discovered by Cars For You, Mumbaikars spotted the white-coloured SUV leaving his place of residence, with clear markers of the bulletproof mountings in place along the car’s glass panels. While BMW and Mercedes-Benz offer factory-spec bulletproof models, Toyota requires an aftermarket job to get this safety modification in place, similar to Mahindra and other manufacturers.
How Do You Make A Land Cruiser Bulletproof?
While the aforementioned window fixtures are a tell-tale sign of a bulletproof vehicle, there’s a lot more that goes into making a car secure for high-profile clients, such as celebrities and heads of state.
While bulletproofing jobs come under various ‘levels’ or stages, why not take one of the biggest recent examples — the Punjab CM’s 2019-commissioned Level-4 bulletproofed Land Cruiser?
The cumulative modifications required for such an upgrade cost a lot in terms of weight and money. Setting the state back by about Rs 30 lakh, the upgrades weigh in at a massive 1.3 tonnes, bringing the SUV’s total weight to a huge 4 tonnes — about as much as a medium-sized ambulance.
The first order of things is to replace the standard power windows with reinforced glass capable of absorbing bullet impacts, although they obviously cannot be rolled down. Even the sunroof is replaced with bulletproof glass.
Armour plating is also installed at various key points within the car, such as the door panels, underbody, and even around the engine.
Interestingly, the massive weight increase also necessitates a customised suspension setup for the car — mated to a new set of leak and puncture-proof tyres.
Despite the obvious advantages for Salman’s security, bulletproofing a car comes with some downsides, too. Along with the huge weight increase comes a serious drop in acceleration and top speed — although the Land Cruiser’s 4.5-litre diesel V8 can probably get the job done, if a bit slowly.
Off-roading and corner-carving is largely out of the question too, as the new suspension limitations mean that the bulky 4×4 fortress experiences extreme levels of body roll and stability issues on uneven surfaces and sharp turns.
There’s also low fuel efficiency, although if you own a Land Cruiser, chances are that fuel costs aren’t your biggest concern.
Salman’s security needs were largely raised by alleged death threats from the Lawrence Bishnoi gang — a criminal outfit led by one of the prime accused in late rapper Sidhu Moosewala’s murder. The threats were aimed at lawyer Hasti Mal Saraswat, who represented Salman in the infamous blackbuck poaching case. Blackbucks are sacred to Bishnoi and his community. The gangster is currently under custody of the Punjab Police.
Salman Khan will soon appear in the next season of reality show Bigg Boss, which he has hosted for 12 years.
(Featured Image Credits: Cars For You)