No, BMW has not chosen to revive a legendary VW narrow-angle V6 engine.
Important people with enemies who like driving BMW SUVs will be heartened that the latest armoured X5 has been revealed.
There is absolutely no ambiguity from BMW about this X5’s customer profile with the company stating that it "offers private individuals and persons at risk customised protection against violent attacks, kidnapping or organised crime. This is often a decisive criterion, especially in regions like South America, Africa or Russia.” Indeed.
So what differentiates this X5 VR6 from other large BMW five-door SUVs? Well, it has 33mm thick safety glass and an armoured passenger compartment which BMW claims will keep occupants unharmed in the event of an AK-47 or hand grenade attack.
The luggage compartment is sealed and there is an additional aluminium underbody shield (in case somebody rolls a grenade underneath).
Improvised explosive devices have become a tactic of vehicle ambushes and to this end, BMW says that its X5 VR6 can resist a 15kg TNT blast from a distance of 4 meters. An optional armoured roof can also be fitted to resist attacks from above (such as drones).
BMW’s engineers have also ensured that there is sufficient composite armour overlap in all this X5’s panels and joints, to eliminate any vulnerable areas.
Despite its VR6 naming convention, this armoured X5 is powered by BMW’s 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, boosting 390kW and 750Nm. Although kerb weight remains classified, the use of composite anti-ballistic panelling must make this X5 VR6 a lot lighter than previous armoured vehicles of its size, as the 0-100kph time of 5.9 seconds does not indicate a huge increase in mass.
BMW offers an extensive list of additional options for its X5 VR6 customers, including a comprehensive blue-light kit – which will be very popular with you know who…