Top Gear Season 17 Episode 1 Starts with a Blast: Forget about the Hummer, Meet the Marauder [Video]

Yesterday we brought you news about the first episode of the seventh season of BBC’s Top Gear TV series which aired last night featuring the Paramount Group’s Marauder. The South African-built armored vehicle was driven by TG presenter Richard Hammond in its native country.

However, “driven” is an understatement, since Hammond made the Marauder flatten cars, smash through walls and defy lion attacks. He also took a bright red one for a drive around Johannesburg, creating quite a fuss.

But if you think that’s the end of it, you’re mistaken. In the final test, the Marauder and a Hummer suffered explosions simulating the roadside bombs the military faces in places such as Iraq or Afghanistan. The Hummer was destroyed, while the Marauder was barely scratched and Hammond drove off into the sunset…

10 things you didn’t know about the Marauder [From Paramount Press Release]:

1. Marauder is actually three vehicles in one. It can be produced as an infantry patrol vehicle, a command centre and even an ambulance!

2. With long range fuel tanks added it can travel an extra 500km – making it ideal for long range patrols.

3. Marauder can survive explosions of 14kg of TNT under its wheels and 7kg under its hull – making it one of the world’s toughest vehicles.

4. Whether sitting in the boiling heat of +55°C or the freezing temperatures of -32°C, occupants can stay cool or warm with the ultra modern climate control system.

5. Marauder can literally swim! It has a fording depth of half the vehicle – making it ideal for rugged and wet terrain.

6. It has special ‘run flat’ tyre inserts which means that the tyres can be perforated by 12.7mm bullet rounds and still keep rolling for at least another 50km!

7. Marauder weighs around 15 tons but can be loaded up to 18 tons when fully laden!

8. The vehicle can be fitted with an IED jammer – making it the enemy of terrorists worldwide.

9. Anti blast seats protect troops from roadside bombs and rocket attack – keeping them safe from the huge force of explosions, without just protecting the vehicle.

10. With a maximum speed of 120 Km/h the Marauder is no slow coach.

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