Note to self: don’t tangle with the Lenco BearCat. No amount of road rage is going to overcome nine gun ports and 16,000 pounds of rolling armored vehicle—not to mention a SWAT team.
The BearCat (short for Ballistic Engineered Armored Response) is the most popular new urban rescue/assault vehicle among first responders and military units from the LAPD to the U.S. Air Force.
Built by Lenco Armored Vehicles of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the $194,000 BearCat is based on Ford’s F-550 commercial truck. Lenco keeps Ford’s 6.0-liter turbo-diesel, five-speed automatic transmission, coil-spring front / leafspring rear suspension and dash layout, but adds a body complete with turret and half-inch thick steel armor.
You can enter the BearCat via forearm-busting driver/passenger doors, but special ops types will likely jump in through its two rear doors. Once in, 10 squad members in full gear can perch on padded benches running the length of either side. There are handrails above and a flat floor below, but not much else to see unless you crane to look out one of four armor-glass windows, pop open one of the cabin gun ports, or peer through the turret port. (Or, you might fire through them.)