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Tyres / Tyre NewsEV Tyre News / BMW i7 Protection

New BMW i7 Protection: World’s first armoured EV saloon

BMW i7 Protection
Michelin tyres

Do the threats of climate change and unexpected machine gun fire worry you equally? If so, this electric bank vault on wheels could be right up your street.

Designed for dignitaries who want all the luxury trimmings of the regular 7/i7, but who also need a vehicle which can keep them out of harm’s way, the 7 Series Protection offers full VR9 level defence. In layman’s terms, this means the luxury barge can shield occupants against attacks ranging from bullets and drones to grenades and most explosive charges.

BMW 7 Series Side View
Although it might look a little worse for wear, any occupants of this 7 Series would have been completely unharmed Image credit: BMW Group

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Unlike many other armoured cars on the market though, the i7 Protection is a fully in-house job. Afterall, when your life is at stake you don’t want to leave the strengthening to aftermarket cowboys.

To create such a machine, BMW starts with a ‘Protection Core’ – essentially a heavily reinforced ‘hot formed steel’ underbody structure – and then adds protection spec doors and armoured glass. While petrol variants also receive a special self-sealing fuel tank. Still worried? There’s even an option to further enhance the protection (in specific areas) to VPAM 10 level, which should stop sniper-rifle bullets.

BMW 7 Series Protection Interior
Occupants can rest easy in the opulent interior knowing the armoured glass won’t shatter around them Image credit: BMW Group

Anyone who’s recently watched a car chase-style thriller will know that a vehicles’ tyres are often the Achilles’ heel in a getaway situation; just a single bullet into the sidewall can be enough to render a vehicle immobile. Not so for the new i7 protection, as Michelin has strived to develop a bespoke run flat model with an interior ring which allows the vehicle to continue driving in a total blowout situation. Michelin asserts that this has been achieved whilst still retaining the 7’s exceptional ride quality and handling characteristics.

We’ve established that the 7 Series Protection offers safety levels rivalling a tank but, unfortunately, this means it also weighs the same as one. Well not quite, but at around 4,500 kgs the standard i7’s spritely performance has been seriously blunted. Now, it takes a yawning 9 seconds to reach 60 mph and fails to top 100. So if your assailants have chosen anything faster than a 1.0-litre Fiesta they’ll be hot on your tail.

BMW 7 Series Protection Front Side View
Flag poles are optional, but might make you more conspicuous to the bad guysImage credit: BMW Group

Range too will have undoubtedly decreased given the extra bulk, however if you need the Protection, you probably already have a private jet for any longer journeys. Or you could opt for the 4.4-litre V8 petrol variant which can be rapidly refilled and offers a far more respectable 6.6 second 0-60 mph sprint.

Do you think an armoured EV makes sense, or is petrol power the way to go when safety and security are paramount?

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