We found that all windshields reduce radar range by a minor amount. These are the "okay" cars. V1 can easily live with those losses.
The "terrible" cars cut radar range by 95 percent. Even V1 can't protect you through those windshields.
The "terrible" windshields all have a silver-based metallic film between laminations, usually put there to reflect the sun's infrared radiation. Ford had a different idea with its InstaClear system (now out of production), which used the film as a defroster.
Here's a list of "terrible" cars:
• Audi A8 with optional "insulated glass" (look for a bronze tint).
• Some Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable, Lincoln Town Car, and Lincoln Continental models with optional InstaClear (look for a bronze tint).
• General Motors--All 1989-1996 Chevrolet Lumina minivan, Pontiac Trans Sport, Oldsmobile Silhouette; all 1998 and newer Chevrolet Venture, Pontiac Trans Sport, Olds Silhouette minivans; some 90s Buick Roadmasters and Chevrolet Impala SSs; some late-80s/early-90s Corvettes (look for a red-bronze tint).
DO-IT-YOURSELF WINDOW TINTING FILMS: Car and Driver supplied four tint-film samples, which we tested on clear window glass. Clear glass cuts laser range by about 25 percent, and all of the samples cut laser range by an additional 25-35 percent. Metallized films had about the same effect as ordinary tint films.
You might add a tint strip across the top of your windshield to cut glare. If so, a laser detector will suffer a serious loss of performance when placed behind the tint.
REAR-LASER DETECTION would be hurt by tint films on rear and side windows, at least in theory. V1's rear-laser performance is by far the best in the industry, but don't expect too much from it. When you're shot in the back, you're moving away, so the shooter's best shot is his first one. If he fails to get a reading on his first shot, you're so lucky you don't need a laser detector.
HOW WINDSHIELDS CHOP LASER DETECTION RANGE...what's left after passing through the windshield, arranged from best to worst.
CAR MAIN AREA TINT BAND
1989 Toyota Camry 40% 40%
1995 Nissan Maxima 40% 16%
1998 Olds Silhouette 40% 14%
1987 Corvette 32% 32%
1998 BMW 740i 32% 32%
1998 Porsche 911 Turbo 28% 28%
1998 Porsche Boxster 28% 28%
1995 Dodge Neon 28% 28%
1998 Chevrolet Cavalier 28% no tint
1998 Mercedes Benz SLK 27% no tint
1998 Honda Accord 27% 27%
1998 Honda Prelude 25% no tint
1998 Audi A8 25% no tint
1998 Corvette 24% 19%
1998 Ford Taurus 20% 13%
1998 Chrysler Concorde 18% 8%
1998 Toyota Camry 15% 6%
HOW DO-IT-YOURSELF GLASS TINTING FILMS CUT LASER RANGE...what's left after passing through the sample.
Clear glass, no tint 75%
Axius, 35% VLT on clear glass 53%
Axius, 20% VLT on clear glass 40%
Gila HPB046, 40% Smoke on clear glass 45%
Gila HPB044, 20% Limo Black on clear glass 50%