If you're planning on going to a very dangerous part of the world but still want to drive in luxury, then check out the new BMW X5 Protection VR6. At first glance, it looks like any other example of the crossover on the road, but this one can withstand bullets as large as the 7.62×39-mm round from an AK-47, which is officially known as a VR6 level of armor. If your assailants prefer using explosives, then BMW also rates this rig to survive a blast from 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of TNT from 4 meters (a little more than 13 feet) away.
Gallery: BMW X5 Protection VR6 (2019)
To create this level of protection, BMW fits the X5 with high-strength steel panels in the doors, side frames, roof, and firewall. There are also aluminum pieces for guarding the underbody and luggage compartment.
The windows measure 30 millimeters (1.181 inches ) thick for the windshield, doors, and rear. BMW touts that they can withstand impacts from handheld weapons. If things go really bad, there's splinter protection to keep occupants from getting cut.
Options allow buyers to add even more protection. For example, extra underbody armor is available that can withstand an attack from a hand grenade. If drones could be a concern, an armored roof can handle a blast from up to 200 grams (0.44 pounds) of C4 explosive.
The X5 Protection can also escape in a hurry if there's trouble. Power comes from BMW's familiar 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 making 523 horsepower (390 kilowatts) and 553 pound-feet (750 Newton-meters) of torque. The model hits 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 5.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 131 mph (210 kph).
For security when getting away, the 20-inch wheels have tires with reinforced sidewalls that can keep the vehicle going even if there's a complete loss of pressure. A special covering protects the fuel tank in case of fire, and it's self-healing if there's a puncture.
The X5 Protection has seating for four people inside. An intercom allows for communicating with the outside world without putting occupants at risk. A standard hold-up alarm activates via a button to lock the doors, close the windows, blink the lights, and create a loud sound.
BMW's announcement doesn't offer pricing or availability for the BMW X5 Protection VR6. Judging by other armored luxury vehicles, expect the vehicle to carry a six-figure cost.