As someone who writes about BMWs almost every single day of the year, it rarely happens for me to be surprised by something related to a current model. Well, this is one of those days. BMW Brazil has been selling for years the X3 and its electric iX3 counterpart as armored vehicles under its “Protection” banner. Not only that but the 3 Series is also toughened up in the South American country.

That brings us to today’s piece of news, which is BMW Brazil’s decision to introduce a Protection version for the X1. The fully electric iX1 is also getting an armored derivative. Additional specialty vehicles are headed to the world’s seventh-largest country by population. Their identities will be disclosed in due course.

The local Protection models sold by BMW meet the level of armor authorized by the Brazilian Army’s NIJ-IIIA ballistic protection standard. In addition, the vehicles are certified by the Beschussamt. It’s a German government agency responsible for regulating weapons and ammunition. On top of that, Protection models are validated by BMW Engineering to make sure they’re up to snuff.

BMW Brazil builds the X1, X3, X4, and the 3 Series at its Araquari plant in Santa Clarita. From the final quarter of the year, the X5 xDrive50e will join them on the assembly line. The X5 has also received the Protection treatment, much like the new 7 Series / i7. The company wants to build 11,000 vehicles this year, which would represent an increase of 10% compared to 2023. To boost production, more than 50 people have been hired.

Brazil is the biggest market for BMW in Latin America. It sold 15,113 cars last year in the country, representing an increase of 9.8% over 2022. Its best-selling products were the locally produced 3 Series and X1, with the X5 finishing third. That’s why a decision has been taken to build the larger SUV at the Araquari factory.

Source: BMW Brazil