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If you think the Conquest Evade looks like a tank, you're not far wrong. This is in fact the first model from Toronto-based Conquest Vehicles, makers of the Knight XV armoured SUV, that is not bulletproof.
Scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2012 at a starting price of $579 000 (R4.7 million), the Evade is built on a Ford F550 Super Duty truck chassis, with your choice of Ford petrol or diesel engines. All-wheel drive and commercial-grade air ride suspension are standard.
The body is fabricated from mixed steel and aluminium, making it significantly lighter than the all-steel Knight XV, with the steering wheel, external door hinges, running boards and even the ignition key machined out of solid stainless steel.
Each door handle is machined out of a solid block of aluminum, and the widened rear door and new rear bumper with integrated step are designed “to allow for exit/entry of executive security though the rear of the vehicle”. Night vision cameras front and rear, and 360-degree, roof-mounted, joystick controlled searchlights are standard.
Honest, we couldn't make this stuff up.
The cabin of the Evade, finished in high-grade leather, alcantara fake suede and carbon-fibre composites with polished metal trim, lends entirely new meaning to the term 'spacious'.
Its cavernous 11.3 cubic metres are devoted to driver, navigator and two electrically adjustable, temperature-controlled executive-style reclining passenger seats, with the option of either a driver partition or a retractable flat-screen television, tray tables and a third sun roof.