SVI AK47 Golf 8 GTI unveiled as armoured rapid-response hot hatch

SVI Engineering, leading specialist manufacturer of armoured products, is proud to reveal the new SVI AK47 Golf 8 GTI, a bullet-resistant rapid-response vehicle based on Volkswagen’s popular hot hatch and developed specifically for South Africa.

Offering protection against handguns and rifles up to 7.62x39 mm – importantly, including the pervasive AK47 – the discreetly armoured SVI AK47 Golf 8 GTI arrives as the ideal urban rapid-response solution. It’s furthermore an excellent option as a pursuit vehicle or even a non-transporting emergency medical services (EMS) vehicle.

“Hot hatches are well suited to rapid-response duties but are generally available only with level B4 armour, leaving occupants vulnerable to higher ballistic threats. The SVI AK47 Golf 8 GTI is our solution to that problem and may just be the fastest way to reach the scene of an in-progress crime, without compromising on ballistic protection,” says Nicol Louw, SVI Business Development Director.

Displayed on SVI’s stand at Securex 2024, Africa’s leading security and fire trade exhibition held at Gallagher Convention Centre in Gauteng, the bullet-resistant package for the VW hot hatch comprises discreetly integrated, custom-fabricated B4+ body armour as well as special ballistic glass. The kit can be applied to the front-wheel-drive Golf 8 GTI as well as the all-wheel-drive Golf 8 R.


Drawing on their extensive experience developing vehicle armour for both the civilian market and the security industry, SVI’s team of engineers painstakingly crafted a bespoke package for the Golf 8, with the key objective of offering protection against AK47 rounds.

This was achieved using 3.5 mm armoured steel plating and revolutionary lightweight ballistic glass, the latter rated to stop four shots from an AK47 in a 300 mm square. While all other panes are fixed in place, the driver’s window can be lowered approximately halfway.

To ensure the highest level of protection, SVI purposely excluded composites from the design, instead relying on high-grade armoured steel in areas such as the doors, pillars and even the roof. The kit furthermore incorporates a neat rear bulkhead solution – supplemented by a camera that continuously feeds video directly to the rear-view mirror – that saves on cost and weight, and means the tailgate needn’t be armoured.

Critical powertrain components are protected by armour installed in the front fenders, while the battery also receives bullet-resistant protection and the suspension springs are uprated, fore and aft. In total, the armouring package adds approximately 340 kg to the vehicle, a figure that has minimal impact on this powerful hot hatch’s acceleration and handling.

As a reminder, the Golf 8 GTI’s turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine offers the front wheels a generous 180 kW and 370 Nm, while the all-wheel-drive Golf 8 R’s outputs stand as high as 235 kW and 400 Nm.

“In South Africa, it’s become patently clear that the round-the-clock fight against crime needs fresh solutions. The SVI AK47 Golf 8 GTI is exactly that and equips rapid responders – in the private security sector and beyond – with both the required speed and the required protection,” concludes Louw.


SVI’s bespoke AK47 armouring package for the Volkswagen Golf 8 – either the GTI variant or the R derivative – is priced at R649 500 (excluding VAT and the cost of the base vehicle). The project build time comes in at approximately three months.