Germany’s Puma APC: Is it Better than a Mercedes S-Class?
Germany has always been a first-rate producer of exceptional and complex ‘things’. The Gutenberg printing press is a prime example, as is Bayer aspirin, Mercedes-Benz, and now this – the Puma Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), Germany’s newest personnel carrier. Being the car-people that we are, it got us thinking, “Is it better than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class?” Let’s find out. Strike one goes to the Merc. Designed and built by the German PSM group, the newest Puma IFV is able to transport six soldiers and three crewmembers through the battlefield, keeping all occupants cocooned inside its protective, air-conditioned shell. Sadly, the current S-Class only transports five people, including the driver.
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Staying true to its name, the Puma doubles as a fighting vehicle and sports a few key armaments. The main turret wields a remote-controlled Mauser 30mm cannon (capable of 200 rounds per minute) with a 5.56mm MG 4 machine gun providing backup. And for good measure, the Puma is available with the EuroSpike missile system. Strike two goes to the Mercedes; it’s a posh passenger vehicle, which means no guns (at least from the factory, aftermarket mods may vary)
But don’t count out the S-Class yet. The Puma weighs in at 31.5 metric tons in its lightest form, and can pack on a further nine tons of armor to increase its fighting capability. Undoubtedly that significant heft will need moving, so PSM fitted the Puma with a 1070-horsepower diesel engine, good for a top speed hovering around 43mph.
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The S-Class itself is quite a heavy brute as well, tipping the scales at 4,630 lbs in rear-wheel-drive S550 guise. Luckily the Merc sports a biturbo 4.7-liter V8 engine, good for 449-horsepower and 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds. There’s also a top-of-the-crop S65 AMG version with 621 furious German ponies.
However, both vehicles sport equally ingenious tech. Puma IFVs come stuffed with the latest battle management systems and can easily network with one another in the combat zone. On the other hand, the S-Class infuses fragrances into the air and can rub down your wearied backside with a ‘hot stone’ massage effect.
Before you go out and sign on the dotted line for either of these German workhorses, consider the price. The base model S550 will set you back $94,000 ($222,000 in the S65). Simply put, the Puma is a couple million dollars more than that, but it can survive a rocket attack. Which would you prefer?
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Source: Defense Update