Sunday, August 9, 2009

BMW Adds 2010 7-Series High Security To Armored Fleet

2010 BMW 7 Series High Security

You can try to impress us with, say, a Bugatti in your driveway, but that merely means you are rich. You’re not really important until someone wants to kill you. And that, plus a desire to travel in a certain level of style and comfort, is the reason for the latest editions of BMW high-security 7-series sedans, appropriately enough named BMW 7 Series High Security.

While a quick internet search will result in a sizeable list of automotive armor upfitters, only Mercedes-Benz and Audi also produced ballistic and explosion resistant automobiles in-house. The newest are the BMW 7 Series High Security models, the BMW 750Li and BMW 760Li, both the longer wheelbase version of the 7-series sedans, with BMW’s new twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 and newly developed V-12 respectively.

BMW claims that the 7 Series High Security models are the first in the world to meet BRV 2009 certification and new ballistic protection level VR7. If you really understand what’s entailed in those standards, you’re in a different occupation than we are. It’s sufficient to say that the armor stops some rather heavy hardware.

To do that the 7 Series High Security models receive vehicle-specific armor plating made from special steel. Armor is provided in all directions, naturally, including the doors, roof, roof pillars, front footwell and the divider between the trunk and passenger compartment. The specially-produced steel plates accurately match the body contours of the 7 Series. Door cut and body joint lines are also safely sealed. Considering the world we live in, special attention was given to making the floor explosion resistant.

The windows are new, multi-layer laminated glass 2.4-inches thick with a polycarbonate layer on the inside to prevent shattered glass from penetrating the interior.

This all adds weight, of course, but an advantage of in-house development is modifying the suspension for the extra poundage. BMW reinforces the suspension links, shocks and suspension strut top mountings and calibrates the suspension to provide BMW-like handling despite the added mass. BMW’s Dynamic Damping Control is also standard, allowing the shocks to adjust to different road surfaces.

The BMW 760Li High Security’s V-12 produces 544 hp and, importantly considering the weight, 553 lb-ft of torque at 1500 rpm. With BMW’s new 8-speed automatic transmission, the BMW 760Li can get to 62 mph in 6.2 seconds, according to BMW. Professor Newton would be impressed, no doubt, by getting this object from rest to motion quite so quickly.

The BMW 750Li’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8, however, with a mere 407 horsepower and six-speed automatic takes 7.9 seconds for the same task.

BMW has also provided the 7 Series High Security models with upgraded high-performance brakes. Once again, what Professor Newton said about bodies in motion applies particularly to heavy armor-plated objects in motion. Run-flat tires have a separate tire pressure sensing system and special temperature sensors.

If you really want to impress us, however, you’ll go for the options. There’s the ever-popular assault alarm. Or you can talk to us without rolling down those thick windows via an intercom system with concealed microphones and speakers. You can also have under-hood and under-body fire extinguishers.

You can stop gas attacks with an automatic sensing system that closes all windows, activates central locking, closes off fresh-air ventilation and activates as needed a fresh air supply for breathable air inside the car.

And if you have the proper credentials, BMW will provide for everything from flag holders to a center console with compartments for a pair of machine guns.

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