Prior to the reveal of the new G23 BMW 7 Series, news of an armored Protection version began to swirl. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given BMW’s eagerness to create armored luxury cars. However, according to Forbes, there’s now some news that an all-electric BMW i7 Protection vehicle might also be developed, alongside its standard 7 Series sibling.
BMW didn’t announce plans to make an armored i7 Protection, but Forbes‘ sources seem to claim that BMW’s added interest in an armored i7 came after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. These rumors suggest there will be three levels of armored protection, from simply small arms fire in the lowest level, all the way up to heavier caliber weapons and even some small explosives. Typically, BMW’s Protection vehicles can handle hand grenades and assault rifle fire, in their highest armor levels.
For instance, the recently revealed BMW X5 VR6 Protection can handle up to 7.62 caliber ammunition, which is used most commonly in the AK-47 assault rifle. It can also withstand hand grenades, 15 kg of TNT from four meters away, and even underbody protection strong enough to handle a hand grenade rolled underneath it. So expect similar protection for the BMW i7 Protection, especially underbody armor, considering how dangerous battery fires can be.
There is an issue of weight, though. According to the same sources, an armored BMW i7 could weigh over four tons, as it’s already pushing three on its own. The i7 is said to weigh around 1,100 lbs more than the gasoline powered BMW 740i and adding armor could add another 1,500 lbs. There’s no getting around it–an armored BMW i7 will be a porky pig. The only real issue that comes from that weight would be its ability to drive on some small bridges and certain roads, as well as a certain license required for its driver, in many countries.
The BMW i7 Protection would potentially be the first all-electric armored vehicle to come from the factory. Aftermarket companies have armored certain Teslas before but they require a third party to do the work. BMW offers the armored protection right from the factory.
As of right now, BMW hasn’t made anything official, about an armored i7, but Forbes claims an official announcement will be coming after the G7 summit in Germany later this month.