Buyers looking for a vehicle that will coddle them while protecting them from gunfire and shrapnel are in luck, because many of the world’s top automakers all offer armored versions of their vehicles. One of these automakers is BMW, which is set to produce an armored version of its latest BMW X5 SUV.
First shown as a concept at last year’s Frankfurt Auto Show, the BMW X5 Security debuts in production form at the 2014 Moscow Auto Show. The vehicle features all of the standard X5’s updates, plus a full armor package.
To keep from drawing attention to itself, the X5 Security is almost indistinguishable from a stock X5, yet it’s robust enough to meet Germany’s VR6 standard for occupant protection. That’s one level below the VR7 standard met by the BMW 7-Series High Security, but still good enough to stop a shot from an AK47.
Highlights of the X5 Security include an upgraded, 450-horsepower turbo V-8, a passenger cell made from high-strength steel, and polycarbonate-coated windows, which can withstand attacks from blunt weapons, and won’t shatter into the cabin. The engine and chassis have been modified to cope withe the extra weight of the armor; BMW has said the Security will handle like a stock X5.
In addition BMW will reportedly release a second version built to comply with the less-stringent VR4 standard to “provide protection against general street crime.” What kind of neighborhood do those BMW customers live in?