In a bold move that combines cutting-edge electric vehicle technology with top-tier security features, BMW has taken the automotive world by storm with the unveiling of the i7 Protection – the world’s first-ever armored electric vehicle (EV). As part of the 7-Series lineup, the i7 Protection marks a significant advancement in the realm of personal security and mobility. This groundbreaking development showcases BMW’s commitment to innovation and safety, and it’s set to redefine the landscape of luxury armored vehicles.
A Fusion of Electric Power and Armored Protection
The BMW i7 Protection, alongside its ICE-powered counterpart, the 7-Series Protection, is designed to provide the utmost security for passengers against potential threats such as ballistics and explosives. Both variants are equipped with VR9 ballistic protection, which represents one of the highest levels of vehicle defense available. What makes this achievement remarkable is that BMW managed to seamlessly integrate these security features without compromising the aesthetics and performance of the vehicles.
Exterior and Interior Features
While the i7 Protection and 7-Series Protection share many features with their non-armored counterparts, such as the M Sport package and a focus on retaining a low-profile presence, BMW has incorporated some specialized attributes. These include exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels with Michelin PAX run-flat tires, optional flashing lights, and mini flag poles designed to cater to the needs of executives and public officials.
The interior of the i7 Protection is a blend of luxury and security. Despite the additional protection measures, BMW has ensured that the spaciousness and comfort of the original i7 are preserved. A notable addition is the intercom system, which enables occupants to communicate externally via interior and exterior microphones and speakers. The Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System adds an extra layer of luxury, making the interior a haven of comfort even in the face of potential danger.
Armored Protection at its Best
The core of the i7 Protection’s security lies in the BMW Protection Core – a robust armor steel structure that forms the foundation of the vehicle’s defense capabilities. This, combined with underbody armor, thick window safety glass, and a self-sealing fuel tank casing, creates an all-encompassing protective shield. These features ensure that occupants are shielded from threats ranging from grenades to drone attacks with explosive charges. The vehicle’s optional fire extinguisher and fresh-air supply system add another layer of safety, providing protection against fires and hazardous conditions.
Performance and Limitations
While the BMW i7 Protection retains the electric powertrain of its non-armored counterpart, the additional weight from the armoring does impact its performance. The i7 Protection is equipped with dual electric motors that produce 400 kW and 745 Nm of torque, powering all four wheels through the xDrive system. However, the acceleration takes a hit due to the added weight, with a 0 to 100 km/h time of 9 seconds and a top speed of 160 km/h, electronically limited.
Moreover, the armoring’s weight is likely to influence the vehicle’s range, although BMW has not disclosed this information. Potential buyers might consider the ICE-powered 7-Series with a V8 engine for its longer range and potentially better performance, depending on individual preferences and priorities.
Global Debut and Future Prospects
Enthusiasts and security-conscious individuals alike are eagerly awaiting the global debut of the BMW i7 Protection and 7-Series Protection at the IAA Mobility Show in Munich. Scheduled for this September, the vehicles are expected to make a strong impression on the automotive world. Initial deliveries are projected to commence before the year’s end, providing customers with a first-hand experience of the advanced security features and luxurious appointments.
For now, the i7 Protection will remain exclusive to the European market. However, this exclusive launch sets the stage for potential expansions into other regions, enabling BMW to cater to a broader range of clientele seeking the perfect fusion of security, luxury, and electrified mobility.
The BMW i7 Protection stands as a testament to the automaker’s relentless pursuit of innovation and safety. By combining state-of-the-art electric vehicle technology with top-tier security features, BMW has ushered in a new era of protected mobility. The i7 Protection showcases that luxury, performance, and safety can coexist seamlessly in a single package, setting a new benchmark for the armored vehicle industry. As the world witnesses the global debut and eventual roll-out of the i7 Protection, BMW has once again proven its prowess in shaping the future of mobility.