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BMW has been building armoured versions of its cars, in particular the 7 Series, for decades in order to supply politicians and wealthy buyers with cars to keep them safe from those who mean harm.
But those big, heavy armoured cars - often with V8s - use a lot of fuel, which means they in turn end up doing the atmosphere harm… until now!
It should be noted there are, however, companies that will convert an electric sedan to be armour plated - even if not from the factory.
Both versions of the 7 Series Protection are rated for ‘VR9 protection’, which essentially means it will resist some fairly tough stuff like high-powered armour-piercing rifle rounds or even explosions from underneath.
As you might expect, BMW doesn’t publish too much detail in terms of how the cars are armoured and constructed, but does say the 7 Series Protection is built around a “self-supporting body structure made from armour steel” which is then complemented with “additional armouring for the underbody and roof and armoured glass”.
Both have similar outputs, too, with the i7’s 400kW and 745Nm lining up relatively closely with the petrol version’s 390kW and 750Nm - however the heavy batteries and construction of the i7 make it much slower, taking 9.0 seconds to get to 100km/h and limited to 160km/h.
The V8-powered 7 Series Protection takes 6.6 seconds to hit the ton and tops out at 210km/h.
Another main functional difference to standard 7 Series variants is the driver assistance systems, which won’t actually intervene and are instead designed to provide professional chauffeurs “with information and warnings”.
Inside, there are still many of the comforts afforded by a standard 7, including leather seats, a small fridge in the rear, a 1265-watt amp and 28-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system, plus even “motorised assistance for opening and closing the doors” to aid with the heavy armoured doors.
The one major omission? The Protection versions of the 7 Series don’t score the 31.3-inch ‘BMW Theatre Screen’ made available in the new 7 Series, so binge-watching The West Wing on the way to the West Wing, or The Crown on the way to meet The Crown, is limited to the individual seat-mounted multimedia screens.