BMW is one of the few automakers to offer armored vehicles straight from the factory. But with the Bavarian automaker headed towards a zero-emission future, what does it mean for their bulletproof and bombproof models? These models are often fitted with larger engines to offset the added weight from the armor, and it's not just for BMW. Thankfully, it seems they'll still be around as shown by the Concept iX5 Hydrogen Protection VR6.
Wait, an armored hydrogen fuel cell vehicle? But hydrogen, bullets, and explosions don't exactly go well together. This is why the automaker beefed up the armor on the iX5 concept to the max. As the name implies, the FCEV comes with VR6 protection (or B6 as we know it in the Philippines). For those unfamiliar with the term, VR6/B6 is one of the highest armor ratings available for civilian vehicles.
According to BMW, the iX5 can stop up to 7.62mm rounds fired from an AK-47 and even protect occupants from explosions involving hand grenades. The eco-friendly SUV can even survive a blast involving 15 kg of TNT from a distance of four meters.
One location BMW paid extra attention to was the underbody to protect against hand grenade attacks. The focus was on shielding the hydrogen tanks, including their valve systems, using non-magnetic underbody protection, which weighs as little as possible and ensures maximum ground clearance.
To make sure the armoring works, the SUV underwent thorough testing conducted with the supervision of the government. A blast impact test was used to see how the vehicle compared against previous armored models. Even the hydrogen tanks also underwent burst and leakage tests. Unsurprisingly, the iX5 passed the tests and complied with all certifications needed.
At the moment, the iX5 Hydrogen Protection VR6 remains a concept. BMW did not say whether it will be put into production just yet. But since it's already certified for use, we won't be surprised if the automaker decides to offer it in the future. Will this be the future ride of VIPs and politicians?