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India’s new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has made the BMW 7 Series 760 Li Security Edition his official car, with no further update available on the offer made to him for a fully armoured Scorpio.
(With inputs from Indian Autos Blog)
Modi had used a civilian version of the Scorpio during his campaigns leading up to the elections. But will now use this BMW meant to provide high level of safety.
The 760 Li uses the flagship engine in the BMW lineup. A 6.0-litre twelve-cylinder engine (V12) outputs 544 hp at 5,250 rpm and 750 Nm of torque at 1,500 rpm and uses an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The sedan accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 6.2 seconds and achieves a top-speed of 210 km/h.
The 760 Li Security Edition is fully compliant with VR7 grade of ballistic protection.
In fact, some of the transparent area and the non-transparent area comply with VR9 grade of protection.
The security functions of the BMW 7 Series High Security are designed around the form of the standard vehicle. This keeps the vehicle as discreet as possible. The optimised armour plates are made from an incredibly strong special steel and fit the bodywork of the car like a second skin.
It also has optional Professional rear-seat entertainment system that comes with two 9.2-inch colour screens allowing the passengers to watch DVDs, follow the car’s progress via the navigation system or go on the Internet.
The entire system at the back is controlled via its own iDrive controller in the centre console.
A special rear air conditioning system is also available, and the seat temperature too can be adjusted, with cool air being blown at the body through perforations in the leather.
To complete the relaxing effect, there is the optional new massage function in the rear-seat backrests.
On the outside, the Security Edition looks just like any ordinary 7 Series as the armour plates, which are made from an ‘incredibly strong special steel’ fit the bodywork like a second skin, say BMW.
Apart from ballistic protection, the 760 Li Security Edition protects its occupants from a fire in the engine compartment or under the vehicle, tear gas on the streets, or a jammed door.
Safety features include an on-board fire-fighting system, an emergency exit and an emergency fresh-air system.
The PM’s convoy fleet is reported to contain multiple 760 Li Security Editions (for decoy purposes) and a few BMW X5s as well.
Mahindra & Mahindra Chairman Anand Mahindra had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitching the decade-old Scorpio to be used as his official car. However, it seems that PM’s security had not considered the request yet.
While Indian PM is using the BMW, world over different head of states use other brands. For example US President Barack Obama uses a stretched Cadillac (a luxury brand owned by General Motors) limousine. The car (also known as Beast), considered to be the safest on the planet, travels with the president on trips abroad.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron uses the XJ model of once-British brand Jaguar (now owned by Tata Motors).