Bulletproof BMW X5 Protection VR6 Will Keep You Safe From AK-47s and Hand Grenades
Need to withstand a 33-pound TNT blast on your way to Starbucks? No problem.
BMW unveiled a bulletproof, armored version of its X5 SUV to serve as private or diplomatic transportation. Take a gander at the X5 Protection VR6, although if you come across it in real life, don't look too intently—unless you want to be put on a list of some sort.
Spotting it in a crowd might prove difficult, however, because with its blue LEDs switched off, this looks no different than the X5 your well-to-do neighbor's wife might take to Whole Foods twice a week. Underneath its relatively basic look, however, you'll find armor-plated body panels and armored passenger and luggage compartments that will stop bullets from an AK-47 up to 7.62x39 millimeters.
Armor plating overlaps in naturally vulnerable areas like the doors, windows, and panel gaps. The X5 Protection's windows are 33 millimeters thick all around and can be configured to only open 10 centimeters to "enable communication with the outside world and the exchange of documents," in case you ever find yourself acting as the sharp-suited antagonist in a Mission: Impossible movie. The VR6 has also been tested to withstand an explosion equivalent to setting off 33 pounds of TNT around 13 feet away while its armor-plated floor can protect its high-value occupants against DM51-type hand grenades.
This armored Bimmer SUV also features an intercom as well as an attack alarm system, which locks all doors, closes all windows, and sets off visual and loud sound alarms at the press of a button.
A self-sealing fuel tank made of special sheathing and run-flat tires ensure heavy attacks don't get in the way of this BMW's getaway.
Despite all of this heavy-duty armory, the X5 Protection VR6 can still get from zero to 62 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds thanks to its 530-horsepower, 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8—the most powerful engine offered "within the competitive environment," BMW says. The armored X5's brakes and suspension have been beefed up to deal with the extra heft.
If you're the sort of individual who finds themselves a target of violence, the BMW X5 Protection VR6 might be worth a long, hard look. For the rest of us, go ahead and look if you must, but it's probably a good idea to keep your hands off the sheet metal and visible at all times.