Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
August 21, 2008
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 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 years' 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.
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 vehicle's 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 90° and 45°, 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.
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 vehicle's 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 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 pressure- as a result of a shooting or after driving over sharp objects, for example - 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 expert's eye, security vehicles manufactured by BMW are virtually indistinguishable from corresponding production models. This meets customers' wishes for discretion and provides extra safety for passengers.
(August 18, 2008)