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Australia's PM to ride in BMW

PMW: The prime minister's new runaround will be a fleet of bullet-poof BMWs costing about $5 million in total.

Government ditches armoured Holden, orders nine BMW 7 Series High Security limos

BMW logo3 Sep 2014

BMW Australia confirmed to GoAuto today that the federal government has bought a fleet of nine armoured 7 Series High Security vehicles, which will be used to transport high-profile politicians and dignitaries, including the Prime Minister.

The order severs a long-standing tie between the federal government and Holden, which has supplied high-security C1-modified Caprice luxury sedans for more than 10 years.

Costing upwards of $500,000 each, the fleet of grenade-proof BMW 7 Series' will be owned by the attorney-general's department and operated by the Australian Federal Police.

The German-built limousines have a safety rating of VR7/VR9 and join a fleet of five VR4-rated bullet-proof BMW X5s, that were purchased by the government in 2012.

In an official statement, BMW Group Australia confirmed that it had “purchased nine BMW 7 Series 760Li security vehicles”.

“The vehicles are BMW armoured security vehicles with identical engineering and performance specifications,” said the German car-maker.

“The sale of the vehicles was completed through an official tender process conducted between BMW AG and the Australian government.” A government spokesperson confirmed the sale and attributed the BMW Group’s success in the tender process to the “high levels of security, performance, economy and service the company was able to provide.” Mercedes-Benz was also involved in the tender but senior public relations and product communications manager David McCarthy told GoAuto that it was unable to guarantee supply within a specified time.

“At that time of tender we submitted a response based on W221, which was our available vehicle,” he said.

“As the government had not reached a decision in the forecast time it was agreed that there would be an extension of the validity period of our tender.

“We agreed to this but advised that the W221 was no longer available and the more highly protected W222 would be available, but that we may not have been able to provide this vehicle within the delivery timetable required.” While many manufacturers offer armoured versions of their vehicles, BMW says its range is superior as they are produced on a production line and not retrofitted with security measures after production.

The production method preserves more day-to-day vehicle functions with minimally compromised performance and retains features like electric windows.

In addition to withstanding two direct grenade-blasts and sustained centre-fire rifle attacks, the 7 Series High Security has an optional two-hour oxygen supply, pyrotechnic emergency exit windscreen, integrated fire-extinguishers and small-arm door holsters.

Mercedes argues its S600 Guard offers an even greater level of protection.

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