Head of the state or Prime Minister, as it is called in India, is the biggest and the most important designation in a country and anyone elected as a Prime Minister is deemed to be the most important person in the country. A special and important person needs a security cover like none other and our Prime Minister gets the highest possible security in the country.
One of the very crucial aspect of safety is the road transportation and we have seen how the President of the U.S is transported using 'The Beast'. While India doesn't have anything like 'The Beast' in the country, it does have the BMW 7-series 760i Security Edition serving as the official state transporter in the country, plying Mr. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.
The former Chief Minister of Gujarat used to run in his customized and armoured Mahindra Scorpio before he was elected as the PM of India. As per the reports, Mahindra and Mahindra, the indigenous SUV manufacturer wanted our PM to use a fleet of armoured Mahindra Scorpio as his official state transportation vehicle.
Since the security of the PM lies in the hands of the Special protection Group (SPG), M&M had to go through them first. The SPG, on the other hand, were happy with the 7-Series, which has been doing its duty as the official transporter of the PM of India for long now. So why did SPG decide to stick with the Beemer? Well, someone on Quora gave a detailed analysis on the topic.
Here's why SPG shortlisted BMW 760i Security Edition as PM Modi's official transporter!
BMW 760Li Security Edition is less conspicuous in its presence as compared to the Mahindra Scorpio, which is a proper SUV and hence taller in stance. More the height, easy it is as a target. The BMW 7-Series on the other hand is lower and hence it is difficult for anyone to take a direct shot at. Low height also means that the center of mass closer to the ground. This results in easy maneuvering, quick response and immediately reacts to changes in movement.
BMW 760Li Security Edition is powered by a 5972cc V12 engine offering 544 bhp @ 5250 rpm and 750 Nm torque @ 1500-5000 rpm. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and can accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in 6.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 210 kmph. Mileage ranges from 4.5 to 7.46 kmpl.
The BMW 760Li Security Edition is certified with a BRV 2009 and VR7 ballistics protection. This means that the BMW 760Li High Security Edition is one of the safest vehicles in India (only the Mercedes S-Guard offers VR9 ballistic rating). High ballistic ratings mean the 7-Series can protect the occupants from almost everything thrown at it. Here's what all safety features the VR7 offers -
- Protection from sniper shots
- Protection from assault rifles like AK47 and M4 and INSAS
- Protection from Rocket launchers
- Protection from hand grenades
- Protection from fuel tank explosion
- Protection from poisonous gases
- Protection from IEDs
While the BMW brand in itself is 100 years old and offers a trusted and reliable name, it's due to the long relationship between the brand and the Indian Government that BMW is being used as a state transporter. The BMW 7-Series was first purchased during the time of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It's been almost 20 years now and since the existing 7-Series fleet already complied with security features laid down by the SPG, nobody bothered to change the vehicle.
BMWs all around
BMW 760Li Security Edition is not the only BMW serving duty with the Government of India. In fact, all the SPG personnel use the BMW X5 as the protection vehicle, running in the convoy of the PM. This makes it a compatible and easy to maintain vehicle for the SPG personnels, deployed as the security of the Prime Minister of India.
While the BMW 7-Series 760i Security is fit enough to transport the PM of India, we would ask the SPG to look at the new BMW 7-series too. Also, our President, unlike the President of the U.S travels in a a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. And since Mercedes has launched the S-Guard with VR9 rating in India, SPG can take a test drive of the same too. As for the Mahindra Scorpio, we are not sure if it will ever make it to the convoy of the PM, let alone becoming the official state transporter.