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Would you believe this Toyota Innova could save you from an ambush?

For P4,750,000, you could get one with B6 level of armored security

Who would have guessed that this Innova had armor protection? PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Let’s say you’re in politics or in big business, and your life is always in danger of being snuffed out by bad elements hired by your corrupt rivals, what would you do?

Would you get a badass vehicle like the Rezvani Tank X or the Terradyne Gurkha LAPV to move around? Or would you settle for an ubiquitous MPV that is so popular that your attackers would have a difficult time figuring out which one is carrying you? You know, like the Toyota Innova.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet an Innova that boasts a level B6 of armor. According to the burly guy who was showing it off to us, “this rating has a high level of security, and is meant to stop armor-piercing rounds. This is among the most popular protection levels as it is still straightforward to implement while adding a huge security advantage.” In case you’re curious, the highest level of security is B7.

From the outside, it just looks like a typical family car. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

The dude who demonstrated the vehicle to us was Hans King Panda Tan, the man behind Luxury Cars Manila. Unbeknown to some, Tan doesn’t just peddle high-end automobiles—he also offers armoring for SUVs, MPVs, vans and even pickups. Check out these armored vehicles his team specializes in:

Toyota Innova V

  • Armored level B6
  • P4,750,000

Toyota Fortuner LTD 4×4

  • Armored level B6
  • P5,850,000

Toyota Fortuner Q 4×2

  • Armored level B6
  • P5,500,000

Toyota Hilux Conquest 4×4

  • Armored level B6
  • P4,850,000

Ford Ranger Raptor 4×4

  • Armored level B6
  • P4,850,000

Toyota Land Cruiser

  • Armored level B6
  • P8,650,000

Nissan Patrol Royale

  • Armored level B6
  • P6,950,000

Toyota Super Grandia

  • Armored level B6
  • P7,150,000
Hans King Panda Tan would like to sell you an armored Innova. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Of the armored vehicles that he sells, he chose to give us a peek at the Innova. He also took us for a spin, just to prove to us that an armored Innova rides well. Really well, in fact. You would think that a stock engine and transmission would strain pulling all that extra metal around the car, but they performed perfectly okay.

Why the Innova?

Well, why not? If you think about it, the idea is deceptively brilliant. Most people assume that rich or important individuals ride in visibly opulent cars. Like a Land Cruiser or a Patrol. Conversely, most hitmen wouldn’t usually guess that their precious target is going around in an Innova. And who would imagine that this humble Toyota could be armored (to level B6, mind you)?

Yes, you could fire back at your assailants if you wish. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Tan told us that his company is committed to saving the life of the VIP in every armored vehicle that he sells. They service these cars regularly to make sure that they can carry out their duty when the time comes they are called upon to protect a client’s well-being.

“I tell our clients that, on average, they face a 3% chance of encountering an ambush,” Tan explained. It is for these 3% odds that their clients pay good money when they purchase armored vehicles. And Tan swears that they have the best in the business.

Don't let the stock engine fool you. This Innova could survive armor-piercing rounds. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

In a country like ours where life is cheap, it’s good to know one can rely on a subtle armored vehicle to transport him or her. Would you pay P4,750,000 for a fortified Innova? If you can afford it and it will save your life, why not? And it pays to look humble.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 26 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.