Do you need the security of an armored car with the convenience and flexibility of a SUV that can still take the kids to soccer practice? If so, BMW has just introduced the vehicle for you: the X5 Security Plus.
At first glance, you might say “it looks like a regular X5.” That’s by design. BMW wanted the X5 Security Plus to meet customer demands for discretion in order to provide passengers with an even higher level of security. Underneath its unassuming exterior lies an armored cabin that complies with the requirements bullet resistance class 6. In other words, occupants will be protected from everything from crowbars to bullets from an AK 47.
Multiple modifications ensure the SUV’s bullet-stopping ability. A security glass conceived exclusively for this bullet resistance class is used in the windows. The body features high-performance steel molded components and panels. Plus, all the joints are sealed to provide protection in critical areas such as the gap between the doors and frame. Tires are fortified, too, in case victims need to escape an emergency situation. Even when completely flat, the tires enable the vehicle to drive up to 93 miles at speeds up to 50 mph.
In addition to the armor plating, BMW added other features to deal with hazardous situations. An intercom is integrated to communicate with people outside the vehicle without opening doors or windows. There is also a hold-up alarm that automatically locks doors and windows and activates audible and visual alerts. Controls for the system are conveniently located in the center console.
All the added security equipment adds weight, but BMW tuned the suspension to offset the burden. Heavy duty springs and dampers along with revised software for the suspension management make sure the added mass doesn’t greatly affect the driving dynamics. A high-performance brake system is also part of the package. However, there is still a small performance trade-off for the added protection. Even though all X5s receiving the security treatment receive the 355-hp 4.8-liter V-8, zero to 62 mph will take about 8.2 seconds and the top speed is limited to 112 mph. Still, you won’t find many armored cars boasting performance numbers like those.
Another advantage of the X5 Security Plus is the security vehicle assembly takes place right in a BMW factory. This ensures the security features are perfectly adapted to each vehicle compared to similar models that offer retrofitted armor plating. Also, all security vehicles are designed to be serviced at any BMW service center. BMW even offers special security vehicle driver training to enable owners to exploit all advantages of their vehicles.
BMW has yet to announce a price to for this fortified family-hauler. With all the intelligent security enhancements, though, we would expect the cost of safety to be rather expensive.