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The new BMW X5 Protection VR6.

An extensive update covering the areas of design, powertrain and digitalisation underscores the progressive character of the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 (fuel consumption, combined: 13.4 l/100 km [21.1 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions, combined: 305 g/km in the WLTP cycle, provisional figures). The new edition of the world’s biggest-selling protection vehicle with VR6 classification gains the revised exterior features and modified cockpit design – shaped by cutting-edge digitalisation – of the new BMW X5. The latest version of its V8 engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology delivers sublime dynamic performance in any situation. And the instantaneous power delivery and efficiency of the 390 kW/530 hp unit have now been further enhanced by the addition of 48V mild hybrid technology.

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Marc Belcourt
BMW Group

The integrated protection features of the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 were factored into the series production development process for the Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV). They include an armoured body and safety glass designed specifically for this model. The latest version of the protection vehicle therefore also meets the stipulations of Germany’s Vereinigung der Prüfstellen für Angriffshemmende Materialien und Konstruktionen (Association of Test Laboratories for Attack-Resistant Materials and Constructions – VPAM, for short) with regard to ballistic resistance and blast resistance. The official certification for the complete vehicle was issued in accordance with the guidelines for Bullet Resistant Vehicles (VPAM BRV) and the guidelines for Explosive Resistant Vehicles (VPAM ERV, third edition).

The new design of the exterior and interior ensures there is barely any perceptible difference between the BMW X5 Protection VR6 and the equivalent standard model. Its inconspicuous appearance on public roads represents an additional safety factor for individuals requiring special protection. The upgraded powertrain of the X5 Protection VR6 teams up with the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system and bespoke chassis technology to deliver the dynamic and assured performance that marks out an SAV from BMW and also enables flexible responses in potentially dangerous situations.

The BMW X5 Protection VR6 is the most powerful, most dynamic and worldwide biggest-selling vehicle of its kind. The new edition will celebrate its world premiere at the IAA Mobility 2023 international motor show in Munich. There it will be presented to the public for the first time together with the new BMW i7 Protection and new BMW 7 Series Protection. The new BMW X5 Protection VR6 has an outstanding skillset as a single vehicle for at-risk individuals. And it is also ideally suited to the role of support vehicle alongside the new protection vehicles based on the BMW 7 Series. Deliveries of the new model will get underway in February 2024.

Precisely modified design, discreet looks with a sporting flavour.

The precise upgrades for the exterior design of the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 centre around the new interpretation of the signature BMW headlights and kidney grille. The outline of the front lights is 35 millimetres narrower than before. Their arrow-shaped daytime driving light elements also perform the role of turn signal indicators. Matrix LED headlights with adaptive control and BMW Selective Beam non-dazzling high beam team up as standard. The BMW kidney grille is now bordered by clearly sculpted surfaces, and includes hallmark M double bars and the M logo.

The new design features borrow stylistically from the standard model with V8 engine to give the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 an understated appearance with a sporting flavour. Also playing their part here are the newly designed air breathers in the front wheel arches, the M exterior mirror caps in Black high-gloss, the BMW Individual roof rails in High-gloss Shadowline and the two pairs of exhaust tailpipes familiar from other M models. The likewise newly designed rear lights cut a striking figure at night in particular. The brand-typical L shape of the LED units for the rear lights and brake lights is reflected horizontally, creating a visually powerful, consistently illuminated X motif. Pulsating turn signal indicators at the rear round off the unmistakable light show.

The range of exterior paint finishes comprises all of the shades available for the new edition of the BMW X5. It also includes a large number of BMW Individual paint finishes and BMW Individual special paint finishes.

Progressive interior design with BMW Curved Display.

Offering generous levels of space and a raised seating position, the cabin of the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 also underscores the imposing character that traditionally marks out a luxury-class SAV. The protection vehicle has a four-seater layout in the interests of optimal comfort and safety. Thanks to the highly effective integration of its protection features, occupants can enjoy exactly the same amount of space and seating comfort as in the standard version of the BMW X5. The vehicle’s boot has a load capacity of 500 litres, while its maximum permissible payload has increased to 475 kilograms.

The new design of the cockpit brings a particularly progressive feel to the premium interior ambience. The new BMW X5 Protection VR6 is also now equipped with the fully digital BMW Curved Display. This consists of a 12.3-inch information display behind the steering wheel and a control display with a screen diagonal of 14.9 inches – both located behind a single glass surface.

The BMW X5 Protection VR6 features the upgraded BMW iDrive with QuickSelect, complete with the BMW Curved Display. It is based on BMW Operating System 8.5 and makes selecting and operating numerous functions even more intuitive and comfortable thanks to a new home screen and QuickSelect rapid-access tech.

Standard specification for the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 also includes four-zone automatic climate control, which comes with a separate control panel for the temperature and ventilation in the rear compartment. The central air vents in the front of the cabin are now slim in appearance and integrated into the newly designed instrument panel almost out of sight.

The instrument panel has surfacing in leather-like Sensafin as standard, together with a large trim strip in Fineline Black metal effect. Another new feature is the ambient light bar with crystalline surface structure and highly effective LED backlighting integrated below the trim element in the front passenger area. The control panel in the centre console also has an extremely modern design with additional touch-sensitive surfaces and a newly designed selector lever.

Sport seats in new Sensafin trim, M leather steering wheel and Surround View as standard.

The BMW X5 Protection VR6 is fitted with sport seats as standard. These offer outstanding lateral support when the driver is exploring the limits of the car’s handling agility. Their functionality includes lumbar support and electric adjustment options for the seat height, seat angle, backrest angle and backrest width – including a memory function on the driver’s side. The sport seats are heated and their new Sensafin surfaces can be ordered in a choice of four colours. BMW Individual Merino extended leather upholstery in four colour variants and BMW Individual full Merino leather upholstery in three different tones are included on the options list. Also available as an option are comfort seats with fully electric adjustment. These can be specified as an option with active seat ventilation and a massage function.

Standard specification for the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 also includes an M leather steering wheel, ambient lighting, a hi-fi speaker system and soft-close doors. The protection vehicle is also fitted as standard with the sensors and camera systems developed for the driver assistance systems in the BMW X5. Functions such as Surround View, Remote 3D View and the BMW Drive Recorder provide precise and detailed information on the area around the vehicle in all situations.

New V8 engine with 48V mild hybrid technology.

Effortless forward momentum and agile handling in any situation are the defining driving qualities of the new BMW X5 Protection VR6. The requisite drive power stems from a V8 engine whose latest incarnation boasts even more responsive power delivery and greater efficiency. The 4.4-litre unit harnesses the thermodynamic benefits of a cross-bank exhaust manifold, bank-symmetrical turbochargers and external engine oil cooling. Other new features include a reinforced crankshaft drive, improved turbocharging with a blow-off valve, an oil pump with increased capacity and a weight-minimised oil sump.

In addition to this, the eight-cylinder engine now also comes with 48V mild hybrid technology in the form of a crankshaft-mounted starter generator. Integrated into the housing of the eight-speed Steptronic transmission – which has also undergone an extensive upgrade – is an electric motor that generates an output boost of up to 9 kW/12 hp and 200 Nm (147 lb-ft) of torque, helping the engine to deliver a smooth, dynamic and, at the same time, efficient drive. The power needed for this is stored in a 48V battery that is charged extremely efficiently by recuperating energy on the overrun and under braking.

The new drive system generates a total maximum output of 390 kW/530 hp and peak torque of 750 Nm (553 lb-ft), propelling the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds. The protection model’s top speed is an electronically governed 210 km/h (130 mph).

Individually tuned chassis technology, Integral Active Steering and active roll stabilisation as standard.

The chassis technology on board the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 has been tuned precisely to its high power output and model-specific weight distribution. The standard Sport brakes deliver consistently high levels of stopping power, even under heavy loads.

The new BMW X5 Protection VR6 comes as standard with adaptive M suspension Professional, which includes not only the M Sport differential but also Integral Active Steering and an active roll stabilisation system. Turning the rear wheels in either the same or the opposite direction to the front wheels, depending on road speed, enhances the vehicle’s controllability at high speeds while also making it more agile in urban traffic and when manoeuvring. Active roll stabilisation, meanwhile, is able to reduce both body roll when taking corners at speed and the obtrusive effects caused by surface imperfections on one side of the vehicle when driving in a straight line. Operated using electric swivel motors, this system thereby improves both agility and steering precision in the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 and the vehicle’s ride comfort.

Integrated protection features, harmonious overall concept.

The new BMW X5 Protection VR6 succeeds in combining outstanding protection under armed attack with a discreet design and superb driving qualities. This is all thanks to its integrated protection features.

The armouring’s formed steel sections and the safety glass were specially developed for this model and harmoniously integrated into the vehicle’s overall concept on both a functional and design level. This meant that careful consideration was already given to aspects such as body gaps and the transitions between body and glass in the development phase.

Armoured body and safety glass turn the interior into a protective cell.

The armouring for the passenger compartment and the safety glass are core elements of the protection features. Formed sections made of high-strength steel that have been perfectly tailored to the body’s contours can be found in the area around the doors, side frame, roof and bulkhead. An armoured partition for the luggage compartment and an aluminium splinter guard for the underbody round off the body-related security measures.

Extended underbody armouring and additional armouring for the roof are available as optional extras for the new BMW X5 Protection VR6. Standard specification also includes a self-sealing fuel tank with a special casing that seals itself after being hit by a bullet to prevent any loss of fuel.

Model-specific convenience and security features.

A heating function for the windscreen and the front sections of the side windows comes as standard, as do electrically operated windows in the front. Another item on the model-specific standard equipment list for the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 is an intercom system for communicating with people on the outside. The controls for both this system and other model-specific functions can be found in an additional panel of switches in front of the selector lever on the centre console.

Further bespoke equipment features can be added to the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 to suit the intended purpose. These include flashing LED lights in the radiator grille at the front, flashing rear lights, roof-mounted light beacons including an acoustic signalling system and a roof antenna with an additional receiver for digital two-way radio. Flag poles are also optionally available for official occasions.

Signature brand qualities, model-specific protection features.

Besides the integrated protection concept, the test procedures compulsory for all models also play a part in enabling the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 to offer an uncompromising level of security while still retaining the comfort and driving dynamics for which BMW is renowned. The arduous test and calibration runs staged over the course of the production development process ensure that both the vehicle and its model-specific equipment features are ready to go and will work reliably even in extreme conditions.

The protection model is fitted with its bespoke chassis technology at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in the US state of South Carolina, where the new BMW X5 Protection VR6 is being built alongside the regular variants of the SAV. The protection equipment and other model-specific security features are subsequently integrated by highly skilled experts in a “craft manufacturing” process, guaranteeing that the holistic security concept is implemented without any compromises.

Global service network, special driver training courses.

Customers around the world can take advantage of individual and discreet consultancy arrangements and an array of other services. This includes accommodating specific customer requests when it comes to equipping their vehicle with additional protection and/or convenience features. Service and maintenance for the protection models are provided by an international network of BMW service outlets, with the work carried out exclusively by trained experts in certified specialist workshops.

BMW also offers special Security driver training courses. These programmes, which BMW has been hosting for more than 35 years, are offered at various intensity levels depending on the prior knowledge of the participants involved and take place at several locations around the world. The training courses are led by highly qualified experts and their content ranges from comprehensive theory sessions to practical vehicle control exercises and tactical response training.

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