This New BMW i7 Is Powerful, Eco-Friendly And Bulletproof

BMW’s armoured vehicles are going electric, too. The German marque has confirmed that it will build a high-security version of its upcoming all-electric flagship, the BMW i7. And while major modifications will be necessary, the brand promises the battery-powered vehicle will live up to the high standards of its past impenetrable cars and SUVs.

The announcement was made following last month’s G7 summit in Germany, where the non-armoured EV was used to shuttle world leaders around Upper Bavaria. Specifics are still to come, but Oliver Zipse, the chairman of BMW’s Board of Management, confirmed that a Protection Trim version of the vehicle will arrive sometime after the regular i7 makes its debut as part of the 2023 model year.

“We will also introduce an all-electric high-security vehicle for the first time—with no comprises when it comes to the standard of protection for our customers,” Zipse said in a statement. “It will be based on the BMW i7, demonstrating how sustainability and security can go hand in hand.”

A trio of unarmoured BMW i7 EVs at last month’s G7 Summit in Germany.

It’s unclear at this point what kind of armour the i7 will be outfitted with. The Drive pointed out that it won’t need protection around its engine bay like a typical bullet-proof car for obvious reasons, but will likely require a heavily armoured undercarriage to shield its battery pack from punctures and fires. A careful balance will need to be struck, though, in order to make sure the ride doesn’t grow too heavy.

BMW hasn’t altered the powertrains of past armoured vehicles and the standard i7 already weighs 5,900 pounds. That’s quite heavy for any vehicle. Add in the 2,000 pounds of armour featured on the E38-generation 750iL, for instance, the zero-emissions saloon will be in the same neighbourhood as the 9,000-pound GMC Hummer EV. The added weight could severely impede the i7’s performance; in particular, its targeted 300-plus mile range. And, as we’ve seen with GMC supertruck, the extra pounds may also affect how environmentally friendly the vehicle actually is.

Regardless, a Protection Trim i7 will be BMW’s greenest armoured car yet.


Previously published on Robb Report.

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