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Old 1st June 2020, 14:14   #1
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Default The Bodyguard Cars of India

Related Thread : India's best Dadagiri cars

The rich & famous, politicians and businessmen in our country tend to have bodyguards who follow them wherever they go. Most use bodyguards out of need, although there are many who deploy them as a status symbol. The cars these security guards drive are as important as the cars the VIPs use. They need to be reliable, and some prefer butch models which offer great street presence as well. In some cases, the bodyguard cars need to be fast to keep up with the high-end cars of their bosses.

The bodyguard cars are usually finished in black, white or silver. Vibrant colours are rarely used. I thought it'll be interesting to look at some of the bodyguard cars of India.

Toyota Innova
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The Innova is one of the most popular vehicles used by bodyguards around the country. Thanks to its bulletproof reliability & abuse-friendly build, you can still find the old Innova as well as the Crysta being used. We're sure this MPV would be the top choice of the police department too, but its premium pricing keeps those numbers restricted.

Mahindra Scorpio
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Another popular bodyguard car is the Scorpio. It might be old, but it sure is macho & robust. Gautam Singhania is said to have used almost every version of the Scorpio over the years for his bodyguards.

Tata Safari
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The Safari is widely used in both the Prime Minister's and the President's motorcades, as well as by other politicians. We feel this is the most comfortable option for bodyguards, what with all that space & the cushy ride quality.

Maruti Gypsy
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Although the Gypsy is popular amongst the Army and Police, a handful of VIPs have the car for their bodyguard's usage. While a white Gypsy with the windscreen protector & safari-clad guards will give that "official" image, the Gypsy has its limitations (petrol only, basic cabin, bumpy ride, no air-con). This VIP uses a Gypsy for his bodyguards and wanted to replace it with bikes.

Ford Endeavour
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When money is no object, even your bodyguards can roam around in luxury! The second-generation Endeavour is a part of Mukesh Ambani's security fleet. The car is also used by some other politicians as bodyguard cars.

Toyota Fortuner
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This is another popular bodyguard car used by many businessmen as well as politicians, mainly due to its "mini Landcruiser" presence & reliability. The Fortuner is often seen in our PM's motorcade.

BMW 520d
The Bodyguard Cars of India-520d.png
A delicate luxury sedan is a poor choice as a bodyguard car! A businessman from Bangalore used a 520d (F10) for his security guards before replacing it with an X5. The 520d was probably a hand-me-down from personal usage.

BMW X5
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The X5 is used by some businessmen & top politicians (as seen above). Famously, Ambani's garage uses a fleet of white X5s. The cars in Ambani's fleet are said to be the xDrive 30d variants. Nothing quite like 6-cylinder power to keep up with the lead car!

Mercedes GLE 43 AMG Coupe
The Bodyguard Cars of India-gle-43.jpg
A Delhi-based politician has a GLE 43 AMG Coupe for his bodyguards' usage. The car has a 3.0-litre, V6 twin-turbocharged petrol engine that puts out 367 BHP and 520 Nm! This is unlikely to be the bodyguard's primary car, but they do get to use it once in a while.

Land Rover Discovery
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The 5th-gen Land Rover Discovery is part of the Ambani security fleet.

Range Rover Sport
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Along with the Land Rover Discovery, Ambani's bodyguards also have a few second-generation Range Rover Sports with them. These might look rich & classy, but keeping their shoddy reliability & parts support in mind, we think it's a poor choice.

BMW 7 Series
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A rare time when the bodyguards are more comfortable than their boss . This fifth-generation 7 Series is a part of the Bren Garage in Bangalore, and is mainly used by the owner's security detail while his supercars are driven around.

Toyota Land Cruiser Prado
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K. Chandrashekar Rao, the first Chief Minister of Telangana, has 4 white Land Cruiser Prados. The cars were bought in 2015.

Mercedes G 63 AMG
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While only the rare HNI in India would use a G 63 AMG for his bodyguards, you'll find them commonly used for this application outside India. Both the first as well as the second-generation of the car have been used as security cars more than you would think. The second-gen G 63 has a 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 producing 577 BHP and 850 Nm!

BMW X6M
The Bodyguard Cars of India-x6-2.jpg
Poonawalla's guards are sometimes seen in a BMW X6. This particular car is a Hamann Tycoon X6M based on the first-generation E71 X6. The X6 was one of the first SUV Coupes to be launched.

Range Rover
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The fully-fledged Range Rover is commonly termed as the Rolls-Royce you can take anywhere. The third-generation as well as the fourth-generation Range Rovers have been seen being used as bodyguard cars by various VIPs. God help their reliability & upkeep costs though.

Hindustan Ambassador
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And of course, how can we forget the standard Indian workhorse, the HM Ambassador?! Famously used by politicians all over India for decades, the car was also used by bodyguards escorting the VIPs. This sedan was also taken by the CISF to demonstrate VIP protection skills. The model is RIP and thus, will disappear soon.

Mahindra Bolero
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Another standard Indian workhorse extensively used by the police all over the country, and by a few politicians as well. The Bolero is cheap, tough, can carry many passengers and fuel-efficient. No wonder its seen everywhere.

Last edited by ChiragM : 1st June 2020 at 14:24.
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Old 1st June 2020, 14:16   #2
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 1st June 2020, 14:51   #3
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Default Re: The Bodyguard Cars of India

Maharashtra CM's Convoy has two Dark Edition Harriers. Look absolutely smashing.
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Screengrab from
this video.
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Old 1st June 2020, 15:59   #4
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Default Re: The Bodyguard Cars of India

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
Related Thread : India's best Dadagiri cars

Hindustan Ambassador
Attachment 2012399
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And of course, how can we forget the standard Indian workhorse, the HM Ambassador?! Famously used by politicians all over India for decades, the car was also used by bodyguards escorting the VIPs. This sedan was also taken by the CISF to demonstrate VIP protection skills. The model is RIP and thus, will disappear soon.
But can't believe just looking at one image could spark so much emotion. My grandparents had those 'Lal Batti' Ambies and the weird bubbly sound the engines made as they ran still rings clearly in my head. I particularly recall this sight with the W140 Strech used by President Narayanan on Rajpath accompanied by very busy looking Ambies scurrying along with SPG Agents every Republic Day Parade. They had 3 different coloured lights on the tailgate. Thank you for bringing back a cherished childhood memory. I am probably one of those kids seated on the floor in that picture.

IMHO, the OG badass Indian VIP vehicle in terms of oomph factor was the Hindustan Contessa. They didn't last long but looked mean and stately whenever I saw them ferrying VIPs. Many of the Maharajas had those as well. In terms of bodyguard cars, I feel across the world the most unique looking bodyguard vehicles of all time were the old Citroen DS which accompanied the security detail of the French President. They resembled mini-ufos.
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Last edited by SDP : 1st June 2020 at 16:44. Reason: Fixed broken quote
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Old 1st June 2020, 16:48   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vijayraj1890 View Post
IMHO, the OG badass Indian VIP vehicle in terms of oomph factor was the Hindustan Contessa. They didn't last long but looked mean and stately whenever I saw them ferrying VIPs.
The Contessa was VIP vehicle and never a Bodyguard vehicle.

The other significant Indian made vehicles missed are Sumo, TUV 300, Qualis, old Jeeps (MM540 and pre), XUV & Ford Ecosport

Last edited by GTO : 1st June 2020 at 16:56. Reason: Fixing quote
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Old 1st June 2020, 19:45   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
The Innova is one of the most popular vehicles used by bodyguards around the country. Thanks to its bulletproof reliability & abuse-friendly build, you can still find the old Innova as well as the Crysta being used. We're sure this MPV would be the top choice of the police department too, but its premium pricing keeps those numbers restricted.

BMW 520d
Attachment 2011629
A delicate luxury sedan is a poor choice as a bodyguard car! A businessman from Bangalore used a 520d (F10) for his security guards before replacing it with an X5. The 520d was probably a hand-me-down from personal usage.
.
The "businessman" in Bangalore progressively downgraded his "mobile car valet" squad. It started with a BMW 7 series then the BMW 520d and later on the Innova.
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Old 1st June 2020, 22:16   #7
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Default Re: The Bodyguard Cars of India

Interesting thread. Personally I feel for anything but the highest level VIPs I think robust platforms like the Innova and Bolero or even the Scorpio for that matter are probably perfectly alright for the use and the environment. Reliability and robustness is what you want above all and to that end you also want simplicity right? All 3 of those vehicles have served and still serve all across India so they're definitely a strong bet. I suppose the angle I'm taking is that for sure we can definitely use domestically manufactured vehicles for a lot of these uses.

At the very highest level soft power also plays a part. For all the reliability niggles of the Range Rovers I do however lean towards it in the sense that it's owned by Tata and by that link you're supporting an Indian brand ultimately. Similarly it would be nice to see the President and Prime Minister use the Jaguar XJ Sentinel. But then again, if they have perfectly serviceable Mercedes Guard S classes and similar BMW 7 Series, I don't think we need to spend that money upgrading to whatever the most up to date version is. Ultimately as long as it gets the job done that okay, I don't see the need for the sort of posturing China (with it's Hongqi L5) or Russia (with it's Aurus Senat) that so clearly aim to score points vis a vis the Beast POTUS trundles around in.

Finally if you really want a high end SUV, at the end of the day I'd stick with a Land Cruiser or a Nissan Patrol. Those things are mean looking and tough as nails.
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Old 2nd June 2020, 01:13   #8
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Porsche Cayenne used as security car by Poonawallas

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Old 2nd June 2020, 09:16   #9
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The 'Complete Man' at the helm of a LaFerrari while his bodyguards are perched alarmingly on a Mahindra Scorpio at Mahalaxmi Race Course.

The Bodyguard Cars of India-fb_img_1590651303921.jpg
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Old 2nd June 2020, 09:41   #10
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Sobha group uses a Maruti Eeco, grey colour as the bodyguard car. Their boss car have the same number - which itself could be a security risk, have seen them in multiple occasions near Kundalahalli and ORR around Kadubeesanahalli
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Old 2nd June 2020, 11:41   #11
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We just cannot forget the OG Escort/Pilot vehicle, the Mahindra Commander.
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Some of the poorer state police forces and stations in rural areas still use this jeep. Hopping in/out of these vehicles is very easy for bodyguards especially and they rarely wait for the vehicles to stop. This pic is of a Commander being used by the AP Police. They have switched to the Ford EcoSPort in most urban areas now.
The Bodyguard Cars of India-fordecosportpolicecar.jpg

Image Source: Google Images from - Scoopwhoop for the jeep & Motorbeam for the ecosport.

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Old 2nd June 2020, 13:58   #12
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I would have thought that reliability, roof rails and wide-opening doors should be the top three criteria when choosing a car for bodyguards.

Looks like most of the cars showcased above have been chosen only on the basis of the impact they would make when making an entry.
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Old 2nd June 2020, 17:07   #13
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I am extremely surprised that the Thar isn't popular as a bodyguard car, especially since we see so many of the Maruti Gypsy. The Thar has a torquey diesel, is overload friendly and built tough.

The Bodyguard Cars of India-dsc_2470.jpg
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Old 2nd June 2020, 17:15   #14
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Down south bodyguard cars are usually black SUV and model depends on the money power one possess.
Fortuner/Endeavour are popular ones. Even the flop MUX/MU7 can be easily seen in the pack.



The DMAX/Xenon should actually make for a capable escort vehicles, but most of them prefer SUV's.
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Old 2nd June 2020, 18:56   #15
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Some of the body-guard cars are very interesting indeed!

But at least in some cases, I think, more than a body-guard car, it could be a secondary car for the boss him/herself in case of a situation.

Down south, at least until recently, there used to be Tata Sumo, Tavera to an extent and Innova (all gen) in VIP fleets.

Last edited by ganesc : 2nd June 2020 at 18:57.
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