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Top Gear can't destroy SA's Marauder

Top Gear tried to destroy a Paramount Marauder. And failed.

Top Gear tried to destroy a Paramount Marauder. And failed.

Published Jun 27, 2011


Perhaps it's got something to do with our die-hard South African spirit, but our little corner of paradise is renowned for producing some of the toughest armoured vehicles in the world.

So much so that even BBC Top Gear has given up on easy targets like caravans to challenge the toughness of a locally-made armoured vehicle, the Paramount Marauder to be specific.

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In the episode, which forms part of the 17th season, 350 million viewers around the globe will see Richard Hammond flattening cars and smashing through brick walls in Jo'burg, and generally causing mayhem (in so typical Top Gear style) in the concrete jungle, before feeding the vehicle to hungry lions in the bush.

That's the easy stuff - the final challenge sees the Marauder being parked next to a Hummer, with both blown up in explosions simulating the roadside bombs that are common in conflict zones. Needless to say, the Hummer gets destroyed, while the Marauder was barely damaged and managed to drive into the sunset.

Paramount Group executive chairman Ivor Ichikowitz describes it as one of the toughest vehicles in the world: “We challenged Richard Hammond to throw anything he wanted at it and Marauder withstood it all.”

According to the company, the Marauder offers outstanding protection against mines, IEDs and ballistic attack - it can survive explosions of 14kg of TNT under its wheels and 7kg under its hull. Even the tyres continue rolling for 50km after being hit by 12.7mm bullet rounds.

Crossing rivers is also a breeze with a wading depth of half the vehicle and despite weighing around 15t, it's no slouch on land either with a top speed of 120km/h.

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