BMW grants behind the scenes access to their special Protection Vehicle division
In the world of armoured cars, BMW is up there as one of the top providers of wheeled fortresses.
Recently, BMW has opened their doors and allowed Secrets of the Supercars (a TV show on Dave, for those unaware) to have a peek inside and learn about the very James Bond-esque way that their bulletproof SUVs are made and also how they’re tested. This is something that has been kept under wraps until now, making it that extra bit more interesting.
Specifically, the BMW X5 Protection VR6 was shown off. A 500hp, bulletproof SUV kitted out with thick armour and strategically placed reinforcement for defence against all kinds of attacks.
The X5 Protection VR6 has been designed to withstand many different types of weapon, one of which being automatic assault rifles such as the widely-used AK-47. As you can see, this model has been through testing and is absolutely peppered with bullet holes, most likely from an automatic weapon like an AK-47.
Starting off, of course, the X5 Protection VR6 has bulletproof glass, measuring 30mm thick. Along with the armoured glass, the roof and sides also have armour plating that’s around 4mm in thickness and is rated to protect against 15kg of TNT explosives and bullets with a calibre of 7.62mm.
Underneath the car, more armour is strategically placed to protect against grenades and other explosives that could impact the bottom of the vehicle. The underbody splinter protection is rated for protection against DM51 grenades and optional extra protection is available.
In the event the car is attacked, measurements have been taken to ensure the vehicle doesn’t disable itself and is able to stay mobile in a hostile situation. The fuel tank features a self-sealing coating that will close bullet holes to prevent leaks. The batteries have been armoured and the alternator and fuel pump are not switched off even after the car has detected a collision.
Performance-wise, the X5 Protection VR6 is powered by a V8 petrol engine producing 530hp. To cater for the extra weight, the suspension has been adapted and so have the brakes.
In summary, as you can see from the photos, the X5 Protection VR6 is one tough cookie, fully capable of taking a full armoury’s worth of bullets, as well as a fair amount of explosives as well.
Ordered yours yet? Let us know in the comments what you think.
If you enjoyed this, you may also like: ‘5 of The Most Aerodynamic Production Cars’
For more articles like this, receive our weekly e-newsletter, including partner deals and all things motoring, register your email below.