BMW unveils armoured X5 'Security Plus'
You're a billionaire plutocrat/paranoid pop star/mafia boss/tank fan (delete as applicable). You need a new off-roader that can deal with hand grenades on your commute to the office/studio/underground bar/shooting range, has four-wheel-drive for off-road escapes and serious firepower under the bonnet to keep you ahead of the baddies. So what do you buy?
Well, BMW has just come to the rescue with its latest armoured X5 – the 'Security Plus'. This leviathan debuts at the Moscow Motor Show later this month and gives those whose lives are under daily attack from undesirables, an off-road alternative to the Mercedes S-Class Guard, which debuted earlier this month.
Based on the X5 xDrive50i, the Security Plus packs a twin-turbo 443bhp V8 under the bonnet for high-speed getaways, with the added bonus of all-wheel drive gubbins underneath. But it's the heavy-duty bulletproof armour that makes this machine stand out.
The Security Plus has a bulletproof skin, and specially designed safety glass and reinforced body joints, to beef up the car's structure against missile attacks. With a 'VR6' ballistic protection rating this X5 should protect occupants from the resultant shrapnel from explosives including hand grenades, and stop projectiles travelling at twice the velocity of a typical handgun round. Very useful if your morning school run takes you through the mean streets of Grozny, or Moss Side...
Undoubtedly the extra weight of the armour will dent the X5's performance, but with the standard car smashing past the 62mph mark in just 4.9 seconds, the Security Plus should still be pretty brisk.
This new armoured model is believed to be set for construction alongside the standard car in BMW's factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA. If you're after a bit more protection from your armoured car, you may want to check out Mercedes' S Class Guard.