BMW expands its factory armored vehicle lineup with new X5 Protection VR6

A few weeks ago, BMW showed us the all-new i7 and 7 Series Protection vehicles. Rated for VR9-level protection, these not-so-ordinary sedans can stop calibers as powerful as 7.62x54mm R and withstand high explosives. In addition, it has run-flat tires and oxygen supply in case of a chemical attack.

But what about BMW customers who prefer crossovers over saloons? BMW has just revealed a new version of its V8-powered armored crossover. This is the 2024 BMW X5 Protection VR6, and while it may look like an ordinary X5, it's anything but. That's because underneath its stylish and sleek exterior is an armored steel structure.

2024 BMW X5 Protection VR6 can stop AK-47 rounds image

The high-strength steel armor structure of the X5 Protection VR6 is present on the doors, side frame, roof, under-chassis, and bulkhead. It also has 1.3-inch ballistic glass which aids in protecting occupants from firearms. With a VR6 rating, BMW says it can withstand 7.62x39mm ammunition (the caliber used for the AK-47). The X5 Protection VR6 is also capable of withstanding blasts from around 32 kg of TNT from a distance of around 12 meters. Should the attackers go for the fuel tank, BMW says it has a self-sealing fuel tank should it be punctured by ballistics or explosives.

With a heavier curb weight due to the extra armoring, BMW beefed up the suspension as well as the brakes. Not only that, but the upgraded suspension and brakes are also there to complement the more powerful twin-turbo V8 which we'll get to later. To ensure sharp and agile handling, the X5 Protection VR6 comes with an M Sport differential and M Suspension Professional.

2024 BMW X5 Protection VR6 can stop AK-47 rounds image

Other notable upgrades made to the X5 Protection VR6 include an intercom system, a new antenna & receiver for digital two-way radio, flashing LED lights integrated into the grille and on the rear, and roof-mounted light beacons.

The cabin of the X5 Protection VR6 is as well-equipped as any regular X5. This means passengers can expect amenities such as the 12.3-inch curved display for the digital instrument panel and the 14.9-inch infotainment screen. It also gets four-zone automatic climate control, Merino leather seats, active seat ventilation with massage function, soft-close doors, and power-adjustable seats.

2024 BMW X5 Protection VR6 can stop AK-47 rounds image

Under the hood, the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 of the X5 Protection VR6 is paired with a 48V mild-hybrid system. It has a crankshaft-mounted starter generator along with an electric motor integrated into the 8-speed automatic transmission. This setup allows for a smoother and more efficient driving experience. The electric assist even provides some extra get-up and go of up to 12 PS and 200 Nm of torque.

The result is a total system output of 530 PS and 750 Nm of torque from the eight-cylinder engine. Despite the added weight of armor and ballistic glass, BMW claims the X5 Protection VR6 can sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in a mere 5.9 seconds and can reach an electronically limited top speed of 210 km/h.

2024 BMW X5 Protection VR6 can stop AK-47 rounds image

The first deliveries of the X5 Protection VR6 will begin in February 2024. Meanwhile, it will be making its public debut at the IAA Mobility Show in Munich next month.