News/ Launches/ BMW strengthens X5 and 7 protection series for India | Protection saves lives

BMW strengthens X5 and 7 protection series for India | Protection saves lives

BMW has been making protection vehicles for 45 years. Built from ground-up protection material science including high pressurised steel, armoured plates and bulletproof glass, the BMW 7 series has been entrusted as the vehicle of choice by two prime ministers of India, the late honourable Atal Bihari Vajpayee and our current prime minister. BMW has also refreshed the X5 protection vehicle with VR 6 protection, while the BMW 760i xDrive brings VR 9 - 10 protection. The VR is defined in the standard of BRV 1999, which itemises the overall protection level of a complete armour vehicle and not just the materials used. The vehicle of choice for the most important person in India, this car is exclusive for HNIs and VIPs, a crowd in India, one of the most populated nations on earth. Let's look at what the updated BMW 7 Protection brings to its occupants.

Stealth

The utmost importance of the protection series is that it looks identical to standard series production cars, at least from the exterior. BMW 7 protection and X5 protection look identical to the regular versions of the same cars. Unlike most brands that make protection shells and upgrades later as an option, the BMW protection series is built from the ground up as a protection vehicle. BMW is calling the chassis a protection core, specially designed for withstanding impacts from bullets, grenades and ammunition of all sorts used to induce terrorism. This protection core is made from 10mm ballistic steel with a specialised foaming process to act as the central core of protection for the occupants. This thorough and slow process allows BMW to make only four vehicles weekly for the updated BMW 7 protection, aka G73. The protection core is aided with multi-layer bullet resistance. The underbody of the 7 and X5 protection cars are guarded with an underbody splinter protection against explosives like mines, grenades, etc. The 72mm glass panels offer utmost bulletproofing while the multi-layer protection on doors makes them mind-boggling 200kg each.

The doors on the updated G73 protection vehicle or BMW 760i xDrive (MSport) Protection are indeed a piece of art aided with hydraulic electric motors for opening and closing. Compared to the traditional method restricted to the rear window pane, BMW is offering aerospace technology for emergency exits. Using space technology, one button can literally explode the bolts off the door, allowing occupants to escape from all four doors in the case of crisis. It still manages to keep the impressive 3215mm wheelbase and brings luxury options for customising this vehicle to the occupants' desires. The overall protection with multiple layers of hybrid aramid, high-pressured ballistic steel, armoured plates, and hefty doors make this car weigh more than 4.6 tonnes. Does that mean this car is slow?

Performance to match the occasion

Despite the massive protection materials, BMW has managed to maintain the agility of this vehicle with all-wheel driving and steering. A turbocharged mild-hybrid 4.4L V8 engine with 48kW electric aid is aiding agility. Irrespective of its 4.6-ton weight, the updated G73 can sprint from a standstill to 100km/h in 6.6 secs. Considering this car is capable of handling ballistic attacks and bullets from the outside, BMW has a new set of rims and PAX tyres, which can go up to 30kms withstanding a speed of 80km/h even if the tyre loses complete air pressure. The protection series thereby brings utmost protection, the heft and the power to propel this car and its occupants up to 210km/h, the G73’s limited top speed.

Verdict

Considering the BMW protection series in the form of the 7 and X5 protection are the preferred vehicle of choice for the most crucial person in our country, the updated G73 and X5 add immense value to safeguard the life of HNIs and VIPs with a life threat. BMW has promised that, like the i7, BMW shall be making an electric version of the protection series in the upcoming future and shall require a separate protection plan for bringing this to life. Prices for the protection series are not fixed and differ based on the options of one’s choice. BMW has tons of optional protection, including air intake tanks in the boot and maybe a folding plasma gun in the future as self-defense. Nonetheless, the new protection series from BMW are ground-up beautiful tanks on roads, the perfect convoy for safeguarding critical human lives.

TopGear Magazine February 2024