Armoured vehicles bring in some big bucks, especially in South America, Africa and Russia.
The armour plating is usually done after the purchase of the vehicle and by a third party, but BMW will be making it much easier by offering an armoured X5 as part of its local line-up.
It’s called the BMW X5 Protection VR6. And before you ask, the answer is no. It doesn’t have a Volkswagen VR6 engine.
The VR6 refers to its resistance class, in other words, how much of a beating it can take.
A VR6 level car can withstand shots from weapons like an AK-47, hand grenades and 200 grams of C4. It can also withstand 15kg of TNT from a distance of four metres.
To get this level of protection, BMW adds high-strength steel on all doors, underbody splinter shield and 33mm thick glass.
This obviously adds a lot of weight, but to get around that problem BMW is offering the VR6 with a twin-turbocharged V8 engine with 395kW and 750Nm on tap. So it will still get to 100km/h in 5.9 seconds and on to an electronically-limited top speed of 210km/h.
In addition to the usual array of luxury features, the VR6 also comes with an intercom and an attack alarm. To ensure the occupants can also get away from an attack, this particular X5 comes with special run-flat tyres with reinforced sidewalls.
The VR6 is based on the X5 M50i, which means it’s powered by a 390kW/750Nm turbocharged V8 petrol. The sprint to 100km/h takes around six seconds, due to the added weight from the protection.
The is no list price for the VR6, possibly because there are too many options and configurations available.