It’s no secret that the world is an unpredictable place. Sometimes, just driving home safely can feel like a feat worthy of celebration. Now, BMW wants to help you navigate the très perilous drive to work and back with a new armoured SUV. Debuting earlier this week, the X5 Protection VR6 is an official, armoured version of the Bavarian automaker’s popular crossover SUV. Though it looks just like any other X5 straight off the dealership lot, the vehicle’s armoured plating is enough to withstand AK-47 bullets, grenades and even a drone strike.
The “VR6" in the SUV’s name denotes its armour protection rating according to the Associations of Testing Institutes for Attack Resistant Materials and Constructions’s strict criteria, and it’s hefty. The vehicle doors, side frame, roof and front wall have all been outfitted with moulded, high-strength steel panels. Meanwhile, the windshield, side windows and rear window have all been upgraded to 1.1-inch-thick safety glass with splinter protection. Its armoured floor can also absorb a hand grenade blast, while an available roof upgrade will protect against those pesky drone attacks. The vehicle also comes equipped with an intercom so that passengers can chat with the outside world about the apocalypse.
But while the X5 Protection VR6 is tough enough to withstand trouble, it’s also fast enough to escape danger in the first place. The vehicle is outfitted with 4.4-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful armoured SUV in its class. The engine set-up, which is the same as the M50i version of the non-armoured X5, allows the car to reach 62 mph (almost 100 kmph) in just 5.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 130 mph (about 209 kmph). Neither number is the fastest, but they’re impressive when the vehicle’s extra weight is taken into account. It also comes with runflat tyres with reinforced sidewalls that are guaranteed to run even after complete loss of air pressure.
Of course, this X5 isn’t all work and no play. While safety and security are its stated focus, the vehicle’s generously sized interior has four-zone climate control, a hi-fi audio system, ambient lighting, a 12.3-inch entertainment system and has massaging seats as an upgrade choice (because, you know, the end of the world can be stressful). It can also be customised with any of the exterior colour, seat upholsteries or interior trim options offered by BMW.
The automaker hasn’t released any pricing information for the X5 Protection VR6, but expect costs to be far north of the X5 M50i’s normal starting price of US$83,145 (around RM351,237).
Check out more photos of the stylish armoured vehicle in this gallery.