The taller, more commanding vantage point of an SUV or 4X4 offers, among other things, a heightened sense of security, and here the G05-generation BMW X5 offers more of that in a literal sense with the Protection VR6 variant. Previous iterations of the fortified X5 were named the X5 Security and X5 Security Plus, and like before, the G05 version is rated to VR6 ballistic protection.

This means that the fortified G05 X5 is prepared against handguns and long firearms, including the most common AK-47 rifle. On the explosives protection front, the X5 Protection VR6 is meant to withstand lateral blasts of up to 15 kg of TNT from a distance of 4 m, while an armoured floor provides underbody protection from DM51-type grenades; a further-enhanced fibre composite underbody reinforcement against HG85-type grenades is optionally available.

Multi-layered safety glass approximately 33 mm in thickness is used for the windscreens as well as the doors, while an additional internal polycarbonate layer provides further splinter protection. Projectile penetration is guarded against with overlapping armour-plating, such as within door gaps and bodywork joints. The G05 X5 Protection VR6 also uses a self-sealing fuel tank, which seals automatically following an attack to prevent spillage.

This holds fuel for the 4.4 litre biturbo petrol engine produces 530 hp between 5,500 rpm and 6,000 rpm, and 750 Nm of torque from 1,800 rpm. This is similar to the unit which powers the 2020 model-year regular production G05 X5 M50i and G07 X7 M50i, from which the N63B44T3 engine offers a rated 523 hp and the same 750 Nm.

For the X5 Protection VR6, the armoured SAV is rated for a combined fuel consumption of 13.0 l/100 km and combined CO3 emissions of 298 g/km. The armour fortifications add considerable weight to the standard model, and the VR6-rated G05 X5 attains the 0-100 km/h sprint in 5.9 seconds compared to the standard M50i’s 4.1 seconds, and an electronically limited top speed of 210 km/h; the regular X5 M50i does 250 km/h, also limited.

Suspension layout for the armoured G05 X5 continues to use a double wishbone setup at the front and a five-link configuration for the rear, albeit retuned to work with the armoured vehicle’s added weight, along with upgraded brakes. Rolling stock is a set of 20-inch alloys shod in standard run-flat tyres, active roll stabilisation and integral active steering collectively aid in both stability and agility, the rear wheels steering with or counter to the fronts depending on range of speed.

Modern conveniences and comfort features are also present in the X5 Protection VR6, including automatic soft-close doors, BMW Live Cockpit Professional, BMW Connected and BMW ConnectedDrive, as well as BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. Optional equipment includes active seat ventilation and massage functions, the Rear Seat Entertainment Professional pack, Surround View with Remote 3D View that can transmit images to the customer’s smartphone.

BMW Laser Light with Selective Beam can also be specified for the X5 Protection VR6. Also optional are front and rear LED flashers, roof-mounted light beacons with signal tone, and a digital radio with addtional receiver and roof antenna.

Standard electronics for this armoured G05 include an intercom with an attack alarm system, exterior integrated microphones, internal hands-free microphone and additional loudspeakers enable communication with the surroundings from within the vehicle. The attack alarm system enables the doors to be locked and windows to be closed at a push of a button, while audio-visual alarms are activated. Controls for these are installed in an additional panel ahead of the gear selector lever.