Documents reveal the latest generation of bulletproof BMW X5s are coming to Australia.
In documents uncovered by CarAdvice, BMW has submitted the X5 Protection to the Department of Infrastructure for approval under the Road Vehicle Certification Scheme.
The latest bulletproof X5 was unveiled in 2019, and offers ‘VR6’ level of protection – able to withstand attacks from centerfire rifles such as the AK-47, one of the most common firearms in the world.
The passenger compartment can withstand up to 15 kilograms of TNT explosive being detonated at a distance of four metres, and the underbody will protect occupants from German military-issue hand grenades.
Buyers can also choose to upgrade the roof to withstand up to 200 grams of C4 explosive.
While both BMW Australia and the AFP wouldn’t comment on the new BMW G05 X5 Protection acquisition specifically, a spokesperson for the AFP told CarAdvice “… there [are] standard operating procedures relating to armoured vehicles that have come to the end of their useful life”.
The AFP has been using armoured BMW X5 models for more than a decade, following a training incident involving armoured Ford Territory SUVs in which a police member was injured, CarAdvice understands.
While the Ford Territory was modified with heavy armour after the vehicle was made, BMW offers a factory-built armoured X5 model, with a number of engineering advantages allowing the BMW to deliver superior handling characteristics.
BMW originally supplied the E70-generation X5 Security to the AFP, before the organisation moved to F15-generation X5 Security Plus models in the second half of the 2010s.
Though armoured vehicles are highly regulated in Australia – falling into the same category as bulletproof vests and other controlled arms – BMW does offer the armoured X5 to retail customers in potentially volatile regions such as South America, Africa, and Russia.
The BMW X5 Protection VR6 is powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 engine producing 390kW and 750Nm. Despite the significant weight of the armour, BMW claims the vehicle will hit 100km/h from a standstill in 5.9 seconds, and lists a combined fuel consumption claim of 13 litres per 100 kilometres.
The Protection version of the X5 comes standard with an external intercom (allowing the occupants to communicate with those outside without having to open doors or windows) and an attack alarm system.
Buyers can choose from a long list of optional features, including blue flashing LED lights, a roof-mounted blue beacon, massage function for the seats, and a flag holder for representing the nationality of dignitaries.
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Australian Federal Police to upgrade armoured BMW X5 fleet for VIPs