A couple of weeks ago, a rumor surfaced about an upcoming bulletproof BMW i7, designed to shuttle important European diplomats around without fear of getting turned into Swiss cheese. At the time, it was just a rumor but now, it’s a reality. BMW has officially announced an i7 Protection will be made and join the i7’s lineup in 2023. The announcement came after the G7 Summit in Schloss Elmau in Upper Bavaria on June 26. During that G7 Summit, a few BMW i7 xDrive60 models were used to shuttle people around and the topic of a bulletproof model was likely mentioned by BMW to government leaders.
“We will continue this tradition in 2023 with a high-security vehicle combining the dynamic prowess, ride comfort and interior comfort of the new BMW 7 Series with an integrated protection concept that is unique in this segment,” said BMW CEO Oliver Zipse. “And we will also introduce an all-electric high-security vehicle for the first time – with no comprises when it comes to the standard of protection for our customers. It will be based on the BMW i7, demonstrating how sustainability and security can go hand in hand.”
The BMW i7 will probably make a good security vehicle, as it has the chassis and technology to support it. “The new BMW i7 brings together a unique, all-electric driving experience with the most advanced package of technologies anywhere in the industry,” says Frank Weber, head of R&D for BMW. “So using this high-tech product as a platform for a top-class high-security vehicle seemed to us like the obvious thing to do.”
Although, there’s certainly going to be an issue of weight. The BMW i7 xDrive60 on its own is already immensely heavy, tipping the scales at 5,820 lbs (2,640 kg). After all the armor plating, bulletproof glass, and additional seals to keep smoke and gas out, it wouldn’t surprise us if the i7 Security comes dangerously close to 7,000 lbs. All that weight will have an adverse affect on power and range. Though, I don’t think any passengers will care much about range when AK-47 fire starts bouncing off the armored body panels.
While there’s no official rating for the i7 Security’s armored protection yet, the BMW X5 VR6 Protection is named as such because it has VR6-rated levels of armor. That means it 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’s no official word on exactly when the BMW i7 Security will debut but it’s coming sometime in 2023. Considering the state of the world and politics right now, there are probably a great many government officials in Europe that are very happy about such news.