Armormax, a South African company specializing in armoring luxury vehicles, just revealed its latest project, the VW Golf 8 GTI. Similar to its Jaguar I-Pace model, the Golf is armored to a B4 ballistic level, which the company says will protect against standard handguns and shotguns.
It may seem strange to offer a bullet-proof VW Golf GTI hatchback, but Armormax insists the demand for such a vehicle is surprisingly high. The company is familiar with armoring Golfs, having equipped an entire fleet of them in 2018. Using the lightest synthetic armor available, the conversion adds less than 180 kg, or 400 pounds, to a small vehicle like the Golf, minimally affecting fuel economy and performance.
Armormax starts out by replacing all of the standard glass with Optima ballistic glass, which looks no different from the outside. All doors, door panels, pillars, rear seats, and the hatch are reinforced with lightweight synthetic armor. The same ballistic protection is applied to the roof and sunroof, which remains operational just like the front windows. Finally, a PTT intercom system finishes off the package, creating the most secure performance hatchback on the road.
According to Michael Broom, Armormax's marketing manager, "The B4 Golf was a daring project back in 2018 but was met with immense interest, and several orders were taken. There was never a question that we would develop the world’s first armoring package for the new model, knowing that there would be a high demand." Broom says that the application is popular in the private security sector, which uses the Golf as a chase, rapid response, and principal extraction vehicle.
In addition to the Golf, Armormax produces armor packages for almost 30 different brands of coupes, sedans, vans, and SUVs, including those manufactured by Audi, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, Land Rover, and Porsche. It recently got into the electric vehicle armoring game, converting vehicles made by Tesla and Rivian. The company is one of many that specialize in the global armored vehicle market, modifying vehicles used by private citizens, security firms, and other non-governmental organizations.