The BMW X5 Protection VR6 is an armoured version of the standard X5 SUV, which can shrug off grenade blasts and rifle fire
BMW has released an armour-plated version of its X5 SUV, called the X5 Protection VR6. It’s designed to offer both private customers and diplomatic personnel protection against violent attacks and organised crime.
The X5 Protection VR6’s chassis features a strengthened passenger safety cell and an armoured luggage compartment, while its exterior is fitted with moulded armour-plated body panels, underbody protection plates and multilayered, 33mm thick safety glass for the windscreen, doors and boot partition.
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The standard X5’s suspension and braking systems have been upgraded to compensate for all of that extra weight. BMW has fitted a set of reinforced steel springs, beefier electronically controlled dampers, larger sports brakes and an active roll stabilisation system to better control the body’s added bulk in corners.
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BMW claims the X5 Protection VR6 is resistant to attacks from handguns and long firearms using ammunition up to a calibre of 7.62 x 39mm, as used in the AK-47 assault rifle. The SUV can also withstand blasts of up to 15kg of TNT from a distance of four metres, while its underbody protection panels can shrug off blasts from hand grenades.
The X5 Protection VR6 is also fitted with a self-sealing fuel tank which automatically closes wounds caused by bullets or explosion shrapnel, preventing fuel loss. Run-flat tyres with reinforced sidewalls are also included, allowing the driver to continue their journey even if the tyres are punctured.
Should the owner of X5 Protection VR6 find themselves locked in the boot of their vehicle, with their kidnappers up front in the cabin, they can push a panic button which automatically locks the front doors, seizes the vehicles brakes and opens the boot, allowing them to escape.
BMW even offers a reconfigured post-crash engine management system, which ensures that the armoured X5’s powertrain is not switched off and the cabin’s energy supply is not interrupted after a collision, allowing the driver to make a quick getaway if necessary.
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The X5 Protection VR6 is powered by BMW’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine, which produces 523bhp and 750Nm of torque. Power is fed to all four wheels via eight-speed automatic gearbox, with BMW claiming a 0–62mph time of 5.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 130mph.
Standard equipment includes a set of lightweight 20-inch alloy wheels, a four-zone automatic climate control system, automatic soft-closing doors, an ambient interior lighting package and an M-branded leather steering wheel. Buyers also get a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and an intercom loudspeaker system, much like the systems fitted to American police cars.
Optional equipment includes ventilated and massaging seats, a reversing camera and armour plating for the battery box. For police, political and military applications, BMW also offers flashing LED lights for the front and rear bumpers, roof-mounted light beacons, a siren and a pennant holder for diplomatic representation purposes.
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