BMW’s latest heavy hitter offers armoured protection against violent attacks, kidnapping or organised crime.

Powered by a 4.4-litre V8, the BMW X5 Protection VR6 is barely distinguishable from the standard model.

BMW X5 Protection VR6 combines a range of integrated protective equipment, but the driving dynamics, comfort and advanced technology that are almost identical to the production model.

The V8 produces 390kW and 750Nm of torque at 1800 rpm, with 0 to 100 km/h taking just 5.9 seconds.

Top speed is electronically limited to 210km/h.

The interior offers passengers an extremely high level of protection against attacks with firearms and/or explosive devices.

Moulded components made from high-strength steel follow the contours of the body around the doors, side frame, roof and front wall.

An aluminium underbody splinter shield, armoured luggage compartment partition and security glass are all standard and contribute to the comprehensive protection.

Multi-layered safety glass, with a thickness of 33mm is used for the windscreen, doors and luggage compartment partition wall, and is fitted with an internal polycarbonate layer as additional splinter protection.

Penetration by bullets or fragments is prevented by tightly sealed protection, with overlapping amour plating — in sensitive areas such as door gaps and bodywork joints as well as transitions between body panels and glazing.

The combination of amour-plated bodywork and security glazing offers effective protection against attacks by handguns and larger firearms like the AK-47 assault rifle.

In fact, the armoured passenger compartment can withstand lateral blasts from up to 15kg of TNT from a distance of four metres.

Innovative so-called Post Blast Protective Technology for the security glazing ensures particularly effective protection against secondary attacks.

Even following a blast, all windows remain firmly in position, eliminating the formation of gaps between glazing and body.

The armour-plated floor, reinforced by fibre composite materials, can withstand attack by hand grenades.

A extensively armoured roof is available as a further special option that is designed to repel drone attacks with explosive charges of up to 200g of C4 and more than 500 fragments.

The new BMW X5 Protection VR6 also has a self-sealing fuel tank, with a special sheath that ensures that the tank closes automatically following an attack in order to prevent fuel spillage.

Standard runflat tyres with reinforced sidewalls allow the driver to continue the journey even after complete loss of tyre pressure.

Optional model-specific post crash functions also serve to retain mobility in extreme situations, ensuring the engine remains running after a collision and that the energy supply is not interrupted.

No mention of price, but what figure can you put on safety?

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.