BMW X5 Protection VR6 can withstand AK-47 bullets

feedback@motor1.com (Chris Bruce)
BMW X5 Protection VR6 (2019)

An optional armoured roof is even ready for a drone attack.

If you're planning on going to a very dangerous part of the world but still want to drive in luxury, then check out the new BMW X5 Protection VR6. At first glance, it looks like any other example of the crossover on the road, but this one can withstand bullets as large as the 7.62×39-mm round from an AK-47, which is officially known as a VR6 level of armour. If your assailants prefer using explosives, then BMW also rates this rig to survive a blast from 15 kilograms of TNT from 4 metres away.

To create this level of protection, BMW fits the X5 with high-strength steel panels in the doors, side frames, roof, and firewall. There are also aluminium pieces for guarding the underbody and luggage compartment.

The windows measure 30 millimetres thick for the windscreen, doors, and rear. BMW touts that they can withstand impacts from handheld weapons. If things go really bad, there's splinter protection to keep occupants from getting cut.

Options allow buyers to add even more protection. For example, extra underbody armour is available that can withstand an attack from a hand grenade. If drones could be a concern, an armoured roof can handle a blast from up to 200 grams of C4 explosive.

Armoured alternatives:

The X5 Protection can also escape in a hurry if there's trouble. Power comes from BMW's familiar 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 making 523 bhp and 553 pound-feet of torque. The model hits 62 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 131 mph.

For security when getting away, the 20-inch wheels have tyres with reinforced sidewalls that can keep the vehicle going even if there's a complete loss of pressure. A special covering protects the fuel tank in case of fire, and it's self-healing if there's a puncture.

The X5 Protection has seating for four people inside. An intercom allows for communicating with the outside world without putting occupants at risk. A standard hold-up alarm activates via a button to lock the doors, close the windows, blink the lights, and create a loud sound.

BMW's announcement doesn't offer pricing or availability for the BMW X5 Protection VR6. Judging by other armoured luxury vehicles, expect the vehicle to carry a six-figure cost.