BMW has revealed an armored version of its i7 electric limo, capable of withstanding explosions, ballistic hits, and running flat.
Here is a car that would undoubtedly have allowed Elon Musk and his design chief not to make a fool of themselves when the Cybertruck was presented in 2019. Who does not remember this huge fail when, at the moment of showing the effectiveness of the armored windows of the pick-up, the pétanque ball launched on the side windows had literally shattered the window. Twice. Oops.
A mishap that would probably not have happened to this BMW i7 Protection, the first 100% electric armored car. So heads of state can ride around in a bullet-proof or blast-proof vehicle, or just keep watching his movie on the famous 31.3-inch 8K screen in the back while the driver escapes to some mishap.
Prepare for the worst
For a long time now (45 years) BMW has been developing a version like this on the basis of each generation of the BMW 7 Series, which undergoes the complete VR9 treatment, one of the most complete in terms of ballistic certification for civilian vehicles. . And as this new 7 Series now has a 100% electric version called i7, the latter also benefits.
This is how this i7 Protection, which was developed in the Dingolfing factory, has an armored steel body. But that’s not all since the shielding also concerns the underside of the car as well as the roof. Enough to continue his journey without batting an eyelid. As for the reinforced glasses, they promise to resist firing from ammunition of the 7.62 X 54 R type representing the highest civilian threat.
Obviously, BMW does not pour out too much on all the technical details concerning the protection of this armored BMW i7, so as not to give ideas to the dark forces which would be tempted to attack it. The latter will also perhaps have a little trouble distinguishing a “normal” i7 from an i7 Protection, as BMW wished not to give external aesthetic characteristics to its reinforced model. Which is understandable there too. That said, the optional flag holders can be a good indication…
Stay as quiet as possible
As for the interior, BMW points out that armor of all kinds doesn’t encroach too much on the living space, which makes the i7 Protection as comfortable as any i7. In addition, we find the latest generation of BMW iDrive based on the BMW 8.5 operating system, still with the curved screen. Special functions relating to occupant protection have been added, which can be activated and controlled from the control display’s touch screen.
As an option, there is also the possibility of opting for an interior mirror via camera, displaying the image of the rear-view camera in the panoramic view of the control screen, regardless of the speed.
Safer but less efficient
Where it gets tricky is for the driver (it’s hard to imagine this kind of car driven by an individual). Because who says shielding, says additional weight. And not just a little. It was therefore necessary to use the brand’s most powerful engine, namely that of the i7 M70 xDrive. On the menu therefore, four-wheel drive (electric motor on the front axle and another on the rear axle), and a power of 400 kW or 544 horsepower, for a maximum torque of 745 Nm. Enough to guarantee the 0 to 100 km/h in 9 seconds, for a top speed electronically limited to 160 km/h.
Just look at the technical sheet of the i7 M70 without armor (1100 Nm of torque, 0 to 100 km/in 3.7 seconds, 250 km/h max) to see that the car is much heavier and much less efficient. But it can run flat.
Indeed, the work of the special department of BMW also concerned the tires, more precisely Michelin PAX run-flat (255-740 R510) which allow driving up to 80 km/h even in the event of total loss of pressure. They are mounted on 20-inch special alloy wheels.