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BMW X5 Security: Your body-guard Made-In-Mexico

For some car owners ï?½security & safetyï?½ means having airbags, ESP, DSC, ASC-T or ABS. For other car owners such ï?½safetyï?½ features are simply not enough. For them ï?½safetyï?½ means driving a bullet-proof armored car! And especially for those clients BMW has a new car: The BMW X5 Security. Most of the terror attacks and assassination attempts worldwide (and especially in the Middle East region) need at least a B6- or B7-armored car. But there are also a lot of criminal attacks, like kidnapping and armored robbery attempts. In this case a B4 / VR4 armoring level would be sufficient. Thatï?½s why BMW decided to offer next to the armored BMW 7 series and 5 series also the armored version of the new-shape and current BMW X5 model.

Anybody would automatically think that this armored BMW X5 would be assembled in one of the German BMW factories in Dingolfing or Leipzig, or maybe in the American BMW factory in Spartanburg,
But big surprise: this unique armored SUV is assembled in Mexico! Due to the large demand for armored cars in Mexico, BMW decided in 1995 to open a small factory in Toluca. With this factory BMW was able to avoid the huge customs taxes on CBU cars (completely-build-up), and started to assemble CKD (completely-knocked-down) and SKD (semi-knocked-down) cars there, mainly 3 series and 5 series. At one point the BMW factory in Mexico even armored 100 Porsche 911 Carrera models as a customer-order a few years ago.
Although several free-trade agreements have made it possible to import CBU cars into Mexico without paying high customs taxes, still BMW is assembling all light-armored vehicles (B4 / VR4) of its model range in Mexico.
BMW hopes to be able to present with the BMW X5 the ideal combination of state-of-the-art security standards with the adaptability of a sporting four-wheel drive vehicle.
It takes up to 250 hours to complete the armoring of the BMW X5 using lots of Aramid and Kevlar


According to BMW, the X5 Security guarantees effective and tailor-made protection from criminal attacks and other hazards. Based on the popular Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) BMW X5, the new BMW X5 Security has room for up to five passengers and provides a superior drive train and chassis technology, which allows drivers to master even challenging situations and terrain with confidence. Due to this combination, the new BMW X5 Security is unique in the security vehicle segment. It meets all challenges of day-to-day traffic as well as to situations that require special protection and flexible reactions.
Itï?½s worth mentioning that it takes up to 250 hours to complete the complete armoring of the BMW X5, in which lots of material, like Aramid and Kevlar is used. A normal car needs only 35 hours to be assembled.

Accelerating from naught to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds:
The new BMW X5 Security has a strong 261 kW/355 hp V8 engine. The large, 4.8 liter eight-cylinder powerplant mobilizes a maximum torque of 475 Nm at 3,400 rpm. Accelerating from naught to 100 km/h in only 7.5 seconds, the BMW X5 Securityï?½s top speed is limited electronically to 210 km/h. In addition to the engine performance the intelligent BMW xDrive all-wheel drive system ensures dynamic and superior thrust at all times. The constantly, electronically controlled all-wheel drive is networked via DSC Dynamic Stability Control to variably distribute the drive power between front and rear wheels. This way, xDrive promotes dynamic driving and on-road stability as well as off-road traction.
The X5 Security weights 500 kg more and accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 7.5 seconds, just 1 second slower then the normal BMW X5

Owners of this car will surely not mind the high fuel consumption, which varies between 13 and 20 litres per 100 km.
According to BMW, the new BMW X5 Security is the only vehicle of its segment to meet the requirements of the VR4 ballistic protection level. Its security options, which include armored passenger and baggage compartments as well as safety glazing, have been specially developed for this model and tested as part of the product development process. The integration of protective components has been taken into consideration during the development of the BMW X5 model and establishes ideal prerequisites for equipping the BMW X5 Security with highly effective security technology ex works.

The BMW Security concept ... More than thirty yearsï?½ experience:
Only few international car manufacturers have their own security vehicle engineering tradition. For more than thirty years, BMW has been one of them, offering customers a profound experience that guarantees reliable and expert vehicle and passenger safety solutions. All active and passive safety aspects have been taken into account and effectively combined to create a holistic synthesis. The safety concept F.I.R.S.T. (Fully Integrated Road Safety Technology), which is applied to all BMW vehicles, is the cornerstone of this approach. Based on this, the safety level of the protective measures of BMW Security vehicles can be optimized to suit individual customer requirements.
Passenger compartment is bulletproof and withstands handguns up to caliber .44 Magnum, including .357 Magnum or 9 mm Lugers

The professional protection concept of the new BMW X5 Security focuses on threats posed by criminal actions such as robbery, kidnapping or carjacking. These crimes are predominantly random acts. Most attackers do not target the passengers, but either their valuable possessions or the vehicle itself. BMW X5 Security provides extensive protection from such attacks.


Official certificate after particularly extensive tests:
The vehicleï?½s armored passenger compartment is an essential part of the protection concept. It is bulletproof and safely withstands attacks with handguns up to caliber .44 Magnums, including caliber .357 Magnums or 9 mm Lugers. Accordingly, the BMW X5 Security complies with the requirements of the VR4 ballistic protection level. Testing and certification of the vehicle to internationally recognized European standards DIN EN 1063 and DIN EN 1522/23-1 was carried out by the Beschussamt Mellrichtstadt, an official German ballistics authority. BMW deliberately requested ballistic tests that exceeded conventional requirements. In addition to the stipulated firing angles of 90ï?½ and 45ï?½, the tests included real-life scenarios including different long-range firing situations. The vehicle was certified accordingly.

Superior protection is afforded by special features such as components and panels which are made from special high-performance fiber-reinforced material. This material is used in the side panels, the roof, the front footwell and the rear. Some parts are also reinforced by bullet-proof steel for enhanced protection. Circumferential safety glazing with a 22 mm thickness withstands attacks with impact weapons and is also bullet resistant to VR4 ballistic protection level. The windows are reinforced with an additional polycarbonate layer that offers passengers protection from shattered glass.

The BMW X5 Security also provides complete protection behind the rear seating area. Therefore, the trunk can be used as a safe storage area. The two-part trunk lid is fully armored. The maximum vehicle payload exceeds the 500 kilogram mark.
Intercom system and assault alarm allows communication with people outside of the car without opening doors or windows

The BMW X5 Security is equipped with an intercom system and an assault alarm, which allows communication with people outside of the car without opening doors or windows. If the assault alarm is triggered, all doors and windows are locked automatically and acoustic as well as optical alarm signals are activated. The alarm control elements are situated near the cup holders on the center console and are subtly concealed below a flexible cover.

With the help of high-performance camera systems the driver can easily monitor the area in front and behind the vehicle. A rear-view camera transmits an image to the iDrive control display situated in the instrument panel to allow the driver to assess the vehicleï?½s distance to obstacles without the need to look behind. Side view system cameras integrated into the bumpers provide a detailed view of the area in front of the vehicle. They also transmit an image to the control display. This system helps detect crossing traffic when exiting multi-story car parks or narrow driveways.

On the safe side - Maximum protection off the production line:
In contrast to retrofitted security features, all components used for security vehicles that are manufactured by BMW are perfectly adapted to suit the model they are deployed in. The armored passenger compartment for example provides seamless protection of the entire interior. This way, critical areas such as door joints or transitional sections of the pillars safely withstand bullets or fragments and prevent them from penetrating into the passenger compartment.
The X5 Security comes with BMW Safety tires, which even during complete loss of tire pressure - as a result of a shooting or after driving over sharp object - still function

The BMW X5 Security chassis is perfectly adapted to handle the extra weight. In order to achieve this, special measures were taken. Among others, specific chassis components such as suspension and dampers were integrated and the chassis management software was adapted to suit the specific requirements of security vehicles. Moreover, the BMW X5 Security is equipped with BMW Safety Tires. Even during complete loss of tire pressureï?½ as a result of a shooting or after driving over sharp objects, for example ï?½ the tires still function. A fully loaded vehicle can thus continue safely for up to 50 km at speeds of up to 80 km/h.

Another benefit of the ex-works protection concept is the fact that all security measures are integrated without having any impact on the vehicle design. Even to the expertï?½s eye, security vehicles manufactured by BMW are virtually indistinguishable from corresponding production models. This meets customersï?½ wishes for discretion and provides extra safety for passengers.
But if you fear terrorist attacks, then you will need to get yourself a B6 or B7 armoring level. In the BMW model range this can only be achieved by the BMW 7 series, which is solely assembled in Dingolfing (Germany) and costs up to 500.000 Euros.

Driving dynamics and comfort at the level of production models:
In addition to the outstanding security levels provided by the BMW X5 Security, the vehicle offers a multitude of impressive advantages such as maximum comfort, superior handling and an extremely sporting driving performance. Equipped with the intelligent all-wheel xDrive, the five-seater vehicle is not dependent on roads and expertly masters difficult off-road territory just as confidently.
The high-quality drive train technology and chassis management, which includes all elements of the BMW X5 production model, provides perfect conditions for safely mastering even extreme driving maneuvers and confidently evading any hazardous situations whenever required. The all-wheel drive and DSC Dynamic Stability Control are all networked via the Integrated Chassis Management (ICM), which allows an extremely precise drive power distribution to suit the driving situation at hand. Taking into account the data transmitted by the DSC sensors, the xDrive quickly shifts drive power to the axle with better grip. When dynamically navigating bends, the interaction between the xDrive and the DSC counteract the vehiclesï?½ tendency to oversteer or understeer in bends. Due to the situation-oriented, variable force distribution between the front and the rear wheels, DSC intervenes by applying the brakes separately on each wheel only if this is required by extreme situations.
The DSC version for teh X5 Security includes a so-called anti-fading support by setting off any decrease in brake power at extremely high temperatures - something very common with armored cars - by increasing brake forces accordingly

The DSC version that was developed for the BMW X5 also includes a so called anti-fading support by setting off any decrease in brake power at extremely high temperatures by increasing brake forces accordingly. Moderate build-up of brake forces, in turn, also enhances brake standby in situations which may require spontaneous deceleration. Regular dry braking optimizes the performance of the brakes in the wet, while the start-off assistant facilitates the process of setting off on an uphill gradient.
The DSC systemï?½s range of functions include the special DTC Dynamic Traction Control mode. This mode is activated by a press of a button and raises the thresholds for intervention in the engine and brakes, allowing the vehicle to set off smoothly on loose snow or sand. Last, but certainly not least, DTC promotes an even more sporting style of motoring and navigating bends. In order to aid motorists navigating difficult terrain , the vehicle is equipped with Hill-Descent-Control (HDC). Networked via the DSC, the system allows a controlled descent of hills by means of automatically controlled braking interventions. Even steep off-road sections can be mastered safely and at constant speed.
All the modification in the suspension, braking-system and active programs like ESP were necessary as the BMW X5 Security is 500 kg heavier than the normal BMW X5. This means the BMW X5 Security can reach a weight of 3 tons if fully loaded. It is allowed to load the BMW X5 with up to 510 kg.


Standard features of the BMW X5 Security: Adaptive Drive and Active Steering:

Boosting an even higher level of confidence in mastering challenging driving situations, the new BMW X5 Security provides Adaptive Drive as a standard option. The combination of active anti-roll stabilization and variable damper adjustment allows precise control of body roll and damping exactly as required at all times.
Using sensors, Adaptive Drive permanently monitors and gathers data on the road speed of the vehicle, its steering angle, forward and lateral acceleration, body and wheel acceleration, as well as height levels. Using this information, the system controls both the swivel motors on the anti-roll bars and the electromagnetic damper valves.

The FlexRay high-speed data transmission system is being used for the first time for fast and reliable coordination of all Adaptive Drive functions. BMW is the first manufacturer in the world to use FlexRay technology in production vehicles.

The new BMW X5 Security is available with Active Steering as a standard option. This system offers exactly the right steering ratio at all speeds and steering angle. Up to a speed of approximately 90 km/h steering behavior is predominantly direct. Moreover, parking is facilitated by the fact that is takes only two turns to proceed from lock to lock. At higher speeds, Active Steering transmission is more indirect, enhancing the directional stability of the vehicle and, accordingly, its driving comfort.

Active Steering is combined with Servotronic for better steering comfort through reduced steering forces dependent on the driving speed. As part of DSC Dynamic Stability Control, Active Steering is also networked via the ICM and actively stabilizes the vehicle when oversteering in a bend or during particularly demanding braking maneuvers. When applying the brakes on surfaces with a varying frictional coefficient (split-friction braking), for example, Active Steering generates a precise but discreet counter-steering effect to prevent the vehicle from swerving out of control. This way, even challenging driving situations can be mastered with maximum dynamics and utmost confidence.

Active and passive safety: BMW X5 is the ideal foundation.
Not only in terms of drive chain and chassis technology, but also in the areas of active and passive safety, the new BMW X5 Security benefits from substantial progress in development that was achieved up until the launch of the new version of the SAV production model. The torsional body stiffness, the arrangement of deformation zones, the crash safety of the passenger compartment and the high degree of safety features including their central control, the brake and lighting system have been significantly improved on the previous model.

The interior of the BMW X5 is equipped with frontal and hip/thorax airbags as well as curtain/head airbags at the side as standard features. These airbags inflate from the A-pillar covers and from the roof lining to protect passengers in the first and the second row of seats from injury. The BMW X5 is equipped with three-point inertia-reel belts on all seats. These restraint systems come with belt force limiters as well as with a belt latch tensioner for the front seats. ISOFIX child seat fasteners on the rear seats are featured as standard. In the event of an impending rollover, rollover sensors activate the curtain airbags and belt latch tensioners. Networked with DSC Dynamic Stability Control, these sensors guarantee an early and situation-related operation of the system. Due to this extensive package of measures for enhanced passenger safety, the BMW X5 meets the most stringent crash safety requirements. The BMW SAV was the first vehicle of its segment to be awarded five stars, the best result in the Euro-NCAP crash test.

The high-performance brake system in the new BMW X5 is supported by the wide range of DSC functions to ensure excellent stopping power in every situation. Inner-vented discs on all four wheels take up braking energy with maximum efficiency. Brake disc diameter on the BMW X5 Security is 365 millimeters at the front and 345 millimeters at the rear.

In conjunction with the Bi-Xenon headlights, the BMW X5 Security is also available with an optional adaptive bend-lighting system. The adaptive bend-lighting system adapts the illumination of the road to the corresponding steering angle. The headlights follow the progression of the bend, thus improving visibility of the stretch of road in front of the vehicle. In conjunction with the adaptive bend-lighting system, the vehicle can be equipped with an optional turning lights integrated into the fog lamps. With every turn, the fog lampsï?½ light beam is guided to the side by a reflector to clearly illuminate the road ahead in the new direction taken by the turning vehicle.

BMW X5 Security: Extraordinary SAV, unique security vehicle:
Safety, dynamics, protection ï?½ the new BMW X5 Security provides it all at premium level. It stands for both the extraordinary characteristics of a sporting BMW four-by-four and for the manufacturerï?½s outstanding competence in the development and engineering of security vehicles. The BMW X5 Security imparts a feeling of confidence to the driver and a feeling of safety and comfort for the passengers, both of which is combined with a discreet appearance which helps maintain the passengersï?½ anonymity.

Similar to the production model, the new BMW X5 Security is distinguished by its superior driving dynamics and impressive traction. Moreover, this model provides the comprehensive functional range of the successful BMW SAV model including five seats and the adaptive luggage compartment. The only vehicle of its segment to be certified to VR4 ballistic protection level, the BMW X5 Security combines sheer driving pleasure with the versatility of state-of-the-art safety engineering. This vehicle is prepared for mastering or preventing hazardous situations in more ways than one. The BMW X5 Security is both, an extraordinary SAV that is tailored to customers with a special focus on protection, and a unique security vehicle for a wide variety of applications and a high degree of day-to-day functionality.

BMW security vehicles: Development and engineering to standards of excellence.
All security vehicles are wholly manufactured by BMW to strict BMW quality assurance specifications for development and production. As with the production vehicle, the BMW X5 Security is manufactured in Spartanburg, South Carolina/USA. The protection components are integrated to BMW process specifications at the manufacturerï?½s plant in Toluca (Mexico).
At the same time, BMW provides its customers with extensive support all over the world, ranging from discreet consultancy to comprehensive service and part supply. All security vehicles are designed to allow maintenance and repair in regular BMW branches. The service range includes a corporate pool of security and maximum security vehicles.
In addition to its customer service, BMW offers special Security Driver Training sessions. BMW has been conducting these training sessions for more than twenty years. Drivers have a choice of different levels of intensity depending on the prior knowledge of the participants. They are carried out in different locations all over the world and are conducted by highly skilled experts. The training provides an extensive insight into the theory as well as practical vehicle handling.

I attended one of these Security Driver Trainings at the BMW-owned Miramas Testing Circuit near Marseille (France), and I must say that it was not only very interesting but also very useful in developing my driving skills and very impressive to see how the BMW models can easily handle this massive armoring overweight.

So, whatï?½s the final verdict on this car? Would it be an ideal security car or escort vehicle for celebrities, financial- and economical decision makers and politicians in our Middle East region?
The BMW X5 Security is thanks to its superb handling and amazing performance one of the most - if not THE most - ideal B4-bulletproof SUVs for our region. At least until the armored Porsche Cayenne arrives to the Middle East


Well, if the B4 armoring level is enough and you donï?½t need a B6 or B7 armoring level like the one available in the Mercedes G-Class Guard, the armored Toyota Landcruisers or in the American Ogara product range then this all-wheel drive car should do the job perfectly.

Equipped with a powerful engine, a superb handling and amazing performance this BMW X5 Security shall be capable of getting you quickly out of any critical situation. And this is very crucial in case of an emergency or an attack. Taking also the all-wheel drive system and height clearance into consideration, which can be very convenient with the sandy and poor road conditions in our Middle East region, this BMW X5 Security is surely one of the most, if not THE most ideal, B4-bulletproof for our region.

At least until the armored Porsche Cayenne arrives to the Middle East.

Now, it is up to the gentlemen at BMW to inform the right decision-makers at the different presidential and royal palaces that this BMW X5 Security exists and convince them of completing or restocking their armored car fleets.




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