New armoured X5 SUV offers protection from automatic rifles like the AK47, and comes with V8 power
Darren Moss
22 August 2014

BMW has revealed a new armoured version of its X5 SUV ahead of a planned debut at the Moscow motor show next week.

The X5 Security Plus offers protection up to VR6 standard - which means it can withstand gunfire from common automatic rifles including the widely-used AK47.

Though BMW has released few details of how it has upgraded the X5, the manufacturer says the car's seam joints and connecting panels have all been upgraded, while toughened safety glass has also been fitted. 

Based on the xDrive50i, the X5 Security Plus is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 engine with 449bhp and 479lb ft of torque. The added weight of BMW's security enhancements is sure to push the kerb weight of the X5 up beyond the 2250kg of the standard car. Expect the xDrive50i's 0-62mph sprint time of 4.9 seconds to increase, too.

Inside, the X5 looks much the same as the standard car, though BMW says that the X5's driver aids and suspension systems have been modified, and new switchgear has been fitted to the centre console. The Security Plus will be built alongside other armoured BMW models at a dedicated factory in Mexico.

BMW isn't the only mass-market manufacturer to adding new armoured cars to its range. Earlier this month Mercedes released its S-class Guard edition, which is rated as offering VR9 levels of protection - one of the highest accolades available.

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Our Verdict

The X5 uses in effect the same platform as the previous generation, but it's been substantially revised

BMW sticks to its well proven SUV formula with the new X5, delivering a competent and refined off-roader – but one that's lacking those few extra flourishes

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