BMW 7 Series Protection is an armour‑plated bulletproof limo
The BMW i7 Protection and 7 Series Protection give dignitaries and heads of state a new option when their current armoured car is up for replacement. The i7 is unique itself as the only bullet and explosion-proof EV currently on sale.
BMW's Protection Core is at the heart of both models. It features a self-supporting body structure made from armoured steel, which is then clad with an armoured roof, bodywork, glass and floor.
Tested by VPAM (Germany's armoured car test laboratories) to VR9 standards, the Protection models' glass can see off a direct hit from an AK47 assault rifle. At the same time, the floor and roof can repel the explosion from a roadside IED or drone-dropped grenade attack.
If that doesn't fully satisfy your protection needs, you can upgrade to VPAM 10 protection. It's only available on the 7 Series, allowing your BMW range-topper to repel fire from heavy machine guns and sniper rifle.
PAX run-flat tyres, which can handle speeds of up to 50mph despite a total loss in pressure, and a self-sealing fuel tank (on the 7 Series) and rear-wheel steering should mean you can make good your escape while your security detail mops up the attackers.
As you'd expect, all this armour plating has a detrimental effect on performance, but, in armoured-car terms, the BMWs are still impressively quick. The BMW i7 Portection's 544PS (500kW) is enough to get it from 0-62mph in 9 seconds (armourless, it takes 4.1 seconds) and onto a limited top speed of 99mph.
With no battery power to preserve, the 7 Series Protection is lots quicker – it does 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds (up from 4.1 seconds in the standard model) and hits 130mph.
What BMW doesn't compromise on is luxury. Not your average armoured cars, the 7 Series and i7 pack a champagne cooler, 1,265W Bowers & Wilkins stereo, self-opening and closing doors and electrically operated sun blinds.
What's more out of the ordinary is the Protection models' options lists, including a fresh air supply, fire suppression system, blue lights, flag poles and radio transmitters.
Prices haven't been revealed, but the first cars are expected to reach their VIP owners in December this year, along with the option to enrol in defensive driving courses.