Posted on: Jan 23, 2013
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Armored Opulence: Conquest Knight XV


Blurring the line between civilian and military vehicles, the Knight XV is still definitely a luxury vehicle.
The Conquest Vehicles Knight XV is one of the few armored vehicles available for civilian purchase which is in no way based on an existing mainstream vehicle and was built specifically to be armored. It's a seriously imposing vehicle, and even if the previous vehicles we covered in this series can be armored up to a similar level, none of them inspire quite the same level of confidence as this mean-looking giant unofficially dubbed the "Hummer killer".

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The Knight XV is built by the Toronto-based Conquest Vehicles and first debuted at SEMA in 2008. The vehicle is based on the also-Canadian Gurkha military vehicle. The Gurkha was the armored vehicle featured in the movie "Fast 5" and the close visual resemblance to the Knight XV has caused some to misidentify it as such, but the Knight XV is most certainly a different vehicle. While the Gurkha is available for civilian sale, the Knight XV is the only one that is also a luxury vehicle. Military-spec vehicles hardly qualify as opulent, and that is why you won't see a Gurkha or a Marauder in this series.
It should be noted at this point that "XV" doesn't stand for 15, but rather "extreme vehicle"; possibly an unnecessary thing to say, since that's something you can tell just from looking at it. The sheer size of the Knight XV sets it apart from many other armored vehicles. It's 20 feet long and 8.3 feet tall, dwarfing the Hummer H2. Plus, should you desire it, there is an option to extend it to 24 feet, about the size of moving van. The weight will vary, depending on equipment, but a ballpark figure would be 12,000lbs. Price will also vary, but the current model will run about $629,000. Considering the level of equipment, armor and the massive interior space, that price is actually almost surprisingly low.
It's true that you can get an armored car for less money, but it will be a major step down from this. The closest real competitor is the Dartz Prombron and that costs about double what the Knight XV costs, but more on that later in the series. As with just about any vehicle of this type, you can specify your preferred level of armoring, going all the way up to the B7 level. A few different engines have been offered to help move the considerable mass of the Knight XV. As of the 2012 model, there are currently two options, a GM-sourced 6.0-liter V8 gasoline engine that produces 325 horsepower and 400lb-ft of torque, and a 6.7-liter Cummins diesel that produces 300 hp and 660lb-ft.
This is not the fastest armored vehicle you can buy, but no armored vehicle is exactly known for its speed, so it won't be too terribly noticeable a difference. The Knight XV has air ride suspension and 15" brake rotors with 12 piston (!) calipers to deal with all of that weight. For security, there is an explosive protection system, a magnetic attachment detection system (for detecting bombs on the underside of the vehicle), and an armored floor. There is a positive pressure system and oxygen survival kit to protect against chemical attacks. There's also a black box, safe, fire extinguisher, 2-way PA/intercom system with loud speaker and hidden front VIP strobe lights.
There are external security cameras, which are obviously equipped with night vision. The interior is massive and all covered in leather and ultra-suede. The windows, sunroofs (yes, plural) and ballistic glass partition all have electrostatic tinting. There is a retractable flat-screen TV and your choice of PS3 or Xbox systems. There is also a decanter bar, cooler and cigar humidor. Even the vehicle's remote starter is impressive, with a rage of up to a mile. The Knight XV certainly makes a statement, and there's precious little that will make you feel safer.

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by Jacob Joseph
Armored Opulence: Conquest Knight XV