Can a VW Polo engine block or cylinder head stop an AK47 round? Let’s find out if you’re safe behind an engine block…

When it comes to gunfire, it’s sometimes said one of the only reliable areas of cover on a standard vehicle is directly behind the engine block. So, is this an accurate claim?

While it depends on exactly where the sample is hit, we decided to carry out our own test, securing a Volkswagen Polo engine block at end of our underground shooting range, mounting an AK47 in our test rig and pulling the trigger.

As captured by a Photron Fastcam SA4 high-speed camera (set at 30 000 frames per second), which was kindly supplied by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the 7.62×39 mm conventional steel-core round penetrated the outer casing of the four-cylinder engine block but did not emerge from the other side.

While an engine block may well be capable of stopping an AK47 round, it provides only limited cover at best. In contrast, our 360-degree level B6 armouring packages have been meticulously engineered to minimise ballistic gaps, offering vehicle occupants the ultimate level of protection.

So, what about the same vehicle’s cylinder head, which is fashioned from aluminium? Will the result be the same?

As you can see in the video below, the round strikes the cylinder head just below one of the valves but fails to make it all the way through, ending up coming to a rest inside a water jacket.

So, the safest place of all, of course, is inside a vehicle fitted with one of SVI’s engineered 360-degree armouring packages.

Any more questions on the topic? Ask us on social media or contact us here. Also, be sure to check out the rest of Season One of the ‘Shoot Through’ series here.