It will afford the protection of a fortress - and weigh just as much, too.
When BMW lifted the lid on its new 7 Series and i7 luxury sedans, the world let out a collective gasp as eyes met the controversial grille and split headlights for the first time. Polarizing exterior design aside, the Bavarian automaker has gone to great lengths to ensure the 7er eclipses its strongest rival, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Vehicles such as this are all about the interior and, on that front, BMW hasn't disappointed. Aside from the incredibly large rear screen, there are several delightful touches and features littered across the cabin to soothe the fevered brow of many an executive.
It's not just business people that travel in the rear of stately sedans, though - diplomats and politicians are also partial to a German sedan, but often need armor-plating and bulletproofing to fend off potential attacks. But in a world where conspicuous consumption and waste are frowned upon, what are eco-conscious dignitaries to do?
Well, according to Forbes, BMW is working on the perfect compromise - an armored i7 electric sedan. Sources told the publication that the company will develop an i7 Protection to bolster the ICE-powered 7 Series Protection. For now, details remain scant but insiders have hinted at different levels of armor, ranging from handgun protection to more serious solutions.
We can't imagine what this would do to the i7's already hefty curb weight. As standard, the electric Bimmer tips the scales at 5,820 lbs - more than the combustion-engined X7 SUV even. Depending on the chosen protection level, armoring can add as much as 1,200 lbs to a vehicle's mass. This means there's a potential for the i7 Protection to weigh as much as 7,000 lbs.
This poses several problems; extra weight will hinder the electric sedan's travel range. Currently, BMW claims the i7 will be able to cover 380 miles between charges, something the armored version won't be able to do unless BMW tweaks the battery pack - adding even more weight.
BMW has offered bulletproof and armored versions of its cars for many years. The latest, based on the current BMW X5, can fend off attacks from AK-47s, and explosives - the SUV even has a self-sealing fuel tank. Performance does take a back seat, with the V8-powered X5 Protection requiring a glacial 5.9 seconds to reach 62 mph. Expect the armored i7's performance to suffer, too.
Still, that's of little importance to consumers requiring the ultimate in protection. We're anticipating that BMW will offer the upcoming i7 protection with all the amenities available on the aforementioned X5, along with intercom systems, oxygen supplies, and all the other must-haves required in an armored sedan.
While the idea of a bulletproof EV is bizarre, it's not the craziest bulletproof car we've seen. AddArmor recently revealed its bulletproof Aston Martin Vantage, for those who need to stave off prolonged gunfire but also want to have fun on a mountain pass.