THE first armoured all-electric saloon car is to be produced by BMW which has announced Protection versions of its i7 and 7 Series models.
The cars are for high profile individuals and are designed to give protection from attacks with firearms and explosives.
With the vehicle body made from armoured steel the cars come with underbody and roof protection and safety glass all designed with security in mind.
Occupants are also protected from drone attacks and from hand grenades while the 7 Series Protection is also fitted with a self-sealing fuel tank which automatically closes breaches made by the impact of a bullet and thus prevents loss of fuel.
BMW says a range of optional equipment is available with custom options including a fresh-air supply system, a fire extinguishing system, flashing lights, radio transceivers and flag poles for use when the car is on official duty while both variants are fitted with PAX runflat tyres developed by Michelin which allow the vehicles to continue a journey at speed up to 50mph even with the loss of all pressure.
The cars have rear-wheel-steering to aid manoeuvrability while the i7 has twin electric motors driving all four wheels.
The new BMW i7 Protection sprints to 62 mph from rest in 9.0 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited to 99 mph and the petrol-powered model uses a 530hp four-litre V8 engine giving it an acceleration time of 6.6 seconds and a maximum of 130mph.
Externally, the cars have a similar appearance to a regular 7 Series M Sport saloon - which BMW says is an additional safety factor - while an extensive selection of driver assistance features is fitted.
The functionality of the tech is focused on supporting professional chauffeurs with information and warnings, but without actively intervening to control the vehicle.
The highly advanced sensors developed for the new BMW 7 Series range and all of the cameras available for the luxury saloon are also fitted on the protection vehicles. These provide precise and detailed information on the area around the vehicle in all situations.
A camera-based additional interior mirror can be specified as an option which shows the image feed from the Reversing Assist Camera in the control display.
A standard-fitted intercom system allows the car's occupants to communicate effectively with people on the outside without having to open doors or windows, both of which are motorised.
The two Protection models are to be built at the Dingolfing plant in Germany and will have their debut at the IAA motor show in Munich in September with the first vehicles scheduled for delivery in December.