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Expecting a firefight? Take the armored BMW X5 Protection VR6

The German SUV brute will withstand blasts from TNT and stop bullets.

Don't mess with BMW X5s trekking across sketchy territory.


There's a certain group of customers that needs extra protection for various... "reasons," let's say. Numerous automakers will gladly oblige and sell armored versions of their production cars, but BMW has revealed its latest foray and it's really something. 

Called the X5 Protection VR6, the typically pedestrian SUV will withstand a blasts from 33 pounds of TNT and stop bullets in their tracks. Just hope the baddies aren't firing anything more than a caliber of 7.62x39. That's gun speak for the kind of rounds used for AK-47-style assault rifles. Anything under those figures is no match for the X5 Protection VR6. As for the VR6 name, BMW says it means the SUV meets VPAM criteria under Guidelines for Bullet-Resistant Vehicles and Explosive-Resistant Vehicles.

Credit the BMW's bunkerlike protection to molded armor plating that sits just beneath the X5's skin. There's also an aluminum underbody splinter shield, an armored luggage compartment and multilayered safety glass that measures 33mm (1.3 inches) for the windshield. 

Those chasing after for the driver or passenger(s) of the X5 Protection VR6 should know BMW also sealed up vulnerable areas. Thus, aiming for areas where panels meet is no good; the German automaker installed overlapping armor plating in those parts of the body to keep things secure. And if a blast does go off, BMW promises the windows will remain intact. The fuel tank? That's self-sealing to prevent any fuel leaks.

Should opposing forces have their way and knock the armored BMW X5 out, the company said there's an optional feature that ensures the engine continues to run after a collision.

Speaking of the engine, it's a familiar twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 with 530 horsepower and 533 pound-feet of torque ready and willing. With the armor, the X5 Protection does weigh more, but BMW didn't mention just how much more. However, it compensated by ensuring the brakes and suspension are up to the task of handling the added heft. All the while, the typical slew of luxurious amenities is crammed in for drivers and passengers to enjoy.

If you have "reasons," maybe give the X5 Protection a gander.

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