Johannesburg - The Volkswagen Golf GTI is considered to be the benchmark among hot hatches and, as such, it has a loyal following in South Africa.
But owning a sought-after car can also cause a bit of anxiety in crime-ridden regions like Gauteng. For this reason, Johannesburg vehicle armouring specialist Armormax has launched an armoured version of the Volkswagen Golf GTI. It’s the first of its kind in the world.
The GTI is armoured to B4 ballistic level and because the company uses the lightest synthetic armour available, the conversion adds around 180kg to the weight of the car.
Armourmax says performance and economy are “largely unaffected”, although an increase in kerb weight, from 1 463kg to around 1 640kg, is bound to have an impact – it’s like adding two well-built adult passengers – although the effect probably won’t be too severe.
However, the biggest penalty will be to your finances as pricing for the complete package, including the car, starts at R1.7 million for a car with minimal options, while a more generously specced model will set you back R1.8m.
Thankfully, it is what you would call a discreet armour package. And from the outside, it looks no different to a regular GTI. The package includes Optima ballistic glass, while the doors, panels, pillars, rear seats and tailgate are fitted with lightweight synthetic armour. A PTT intercom system is also fitted.
Armormax marketing manager Michael Broom believes the armoured Volkswagen Golf GTI will prove popular with the security industry.
“The B4 Golf was a daring project back in 2018 but was met with immense interest and several orders were taken,” Broom said. “There was never a question that we would develop the world’s first armouring package for the new model, knowing that there would be a high demand.