BMW has revealed the latest iteration in its series armoured of vehicles, which is based on the new-generation 7 Series and its all-electric i7 counterpart.
Dubbed the 7 Series Protection and the i7 Protection, these two full-size luxury sedans will be unveiled to the public at this year’s Munich motor show in September ahead of customer deliveries starting in December.
The BMW i7 Protection marks the first time the German carmaker has offered an armoured all-electric car. At this stage it’ll be for the European market only.
BMW claims these armoured models were factored into the development of the new 7 Series range. It also claims they offer “major advantages” over armoured a finished vehicle at a later date.
The largest change on the BMW 7 Series and i7 Protection models is the supporting structure of the car is made from armour steel. This creates the so-called BMW Protection Core.
Other changes include protection-spec doors, armoured underbody, safety glass, self-sealing fuel tank.
Both models come fitted with 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in specially developed Michelin run-flat tyres that can be driven at up to 80km/h without any air pressure.
The 7 Series and i7 Protection are also available with a wide range of options including a fresh-air supply system, a fire extinguisher with automatic and manual discharge, flashing lights, radio transceivers and flag poles.
In terms of credentials, the BMW 7 Series and i7 Protection offers class VR9 protection based on the Germany’s Association of Test Laboratories for Attack-Resistant Materials and Constructions (VPAM).
As part of the certification process, BMW claims the “special protection elements” have to demonstrate their ability to resist attack by “undergoing a demanding procedure”.
Experts from an independent testing institute also conduct firearms and explosive tests on the vehicle.
The glass on the two models is even claimed to protect against gunfire from calibre 7.6×54 R ammunition.
Although BMW hasn’t stated how much extra weight the 7 Series and i7 Protection have gained, it claims to have optimised the amount added compared to its predecessors. This means it’s claimed to have a higher load-carrying capacity and increased body rigidity.
The BMW 7 Series Protection is powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine with a 48V mild-hybrid system that produces system outputs of 390kW of power and 750Nm of torque. Drive is sent through an xDrive all-wheel drive system.
BMW claims the 7 Series Protection can do the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.6 seconds, which is 2.4 seconds slower than the equivalent 760i xDrive. Flat out you’ll be doing 210km/h.
The all-electric BMW i7 Protection on the other hand is powered by a version of the dual-motor all-wheel drive setup in the recently revealed i7 M70 xDrive, with system outputs of 400kW and 745Nm.
It’s claimed this model can do the 0-100km/h sprint in 9.0 seconds, which is 5.3 seconds slower than the actual i7 M70 xDrive. Top speed is electronically limited to 160km/h.
Despite their armoured bodies, the 7 Series and i7 Protection still offer a properly luxurious interior. There’s a standard 28-speaker Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system, intercom, powered opening and closing doors, and electric roller sunblinds for the rear windows, among others.
Customers can option items like a cool box that’s integrated between the two rear seats which has an eight-litre capacity and can be cooled to 4 or 10 degrees Celsius.
There are also a range of upholstery and interior surfaces that carry over from the “richly varied options list” of the new BMW 7 Series.
BMW has been producing armoured vehicles for 45 years now. It has historically used flagship 7 Series sedan’s as the base but in recent history has also started using the X5 SUV.
MORE: Everything BMW 7 Series