The most expensive car ever to travel on our roads will arrive in Israel shortly. This is the prime minister’s new official car, an armored Audi A8 Security, which will replace various German and American cars used for the purpose up to now.The official full price of the car, which is certified to the highest bullet-proofing classes B6+ and B7, according to the European standard, is $685 thousand dollars (about NIS 2.5 million) before taxes. However, the car ordered for Israel has many unique improvements and upgrades according to specifications of the Israeli security forces.
Automotive industry sources estimate the official price of the whole project, including additions, at $750-850 thousand dollars before taxes (NIS 2.7 = 3.1 million). Full tax is paid on official government cars, but often there is an exemption for the protection element, which forms a large part of the price of this vehicle. The price of the car including tax is therefore around $1 million (NIS 3.64 million).
The A8 Security was launched in late 2007. It is based on the W12 version of the Audi A8, with a 12-cylinder, 6-liter engine, with an output of some 450hp, and permanent four-wheel drive. According to the manufacturer’s official data, it has an original, factory-produced, protected passenger compartment, proof against bullets and hand grenades. It has electronically controlled air suspension to support the great weight of the vehicle and the special safety systems.
The vehicle has safety features such as bullet-proof tires; and a device that blows the doors off if they have become jammed by shockwaves; an independent oxygen supply system; an automatic fire extinguishing system, and more. For passengers’ comfort, a DVD player is installed in the back, with a wide screen, and there is a drinks fridge, and a device for keeping cigars moist.
The state has been previously procured A8 Security cars, used in recent years to transport VIPs. One of them is now the official vehicle of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. However, these were standard cars, leased from Audi.
The Prime Minister’s Office said, “The vehicle intended for the prime minister has a high level of protection, as specified by the security forces, and was therefore chosen in a tender for vehicles capable of carrying the required protection level. The prime minister had no part in the decision making process on the type of vehicle. The matter was dealt with solely by professional staff.”