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2015 BMW X5 F15 Security Plus

2015 BMW X5 F15 Security Plus

BMW is preparing to launch a new version of its popular X5 SUV, the F15 Security Plus. To the casual observer, nothing is amiss with the X5, but to a firearm-wielding criminal bent on theft or worse, the F15 Security Plus is a rolling safehouse disguised as a BMW.

BMW will officially debut the armored X5 at the upcoming Moscow Auto Show next week, though the original concept made its first appearance in Frankfurt last year. The F15 Security Plus is designed to meet the VR6 protection level, meaning attacks from small arms fire like the AK-47, AR-15, and most hand guns will have no effect on the passenger’s health (well, save for panic or heart attacks).

Ballistic panels and glass aren’t the only modifications BMW has done to the F15. The chassis has been strengthened while the electronic management systems and brakes have been upgraded to deal with the added weight. Power comes from the twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V-8 making 445 horsepower and 480 pound feet of torque.

This isn’t BMW’s first in-house armored vehicle. The German automaker has been producing armored versions of its 7 Series for nearly two decades. Currently BMW is producing the VR7-rated 7 Series rated to protect against more lethal threats like explosives and higher-powered rifles.

BMW will also offer a lighter, VR4-rated X5 SUV for customers looking for basic protection but with minimal changes in vehicle driving dynamics. More details are slated for release once the vehicle debuts in Moscow.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW X5 F15 Security Plus

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2014 BMW X5 xDrive30d Paramedic Vehicle

2014 BMW X5 xDrive30d Paramedic Vehicle

Every year, BMW brings a number of its vehicles to RETTmobil, considered as the best European expo for emergency vehicles. This year, the Bavarian automaker is doing it again with a handful of models that are built specifically for this occasion. One of these models is the BMW X5 xDrive30d Paramedic Vehicle, which gives a whole new meaning to a luxury SUV ambulance.

The BMW X5 xDrive30d Paramedic Vehicle isn’t your ordinary X5. It’s actually been fully equipped to serve a specific purpose. The exterior colors pretty much say it all, right? The white base of the X5 makes way for orange graphics throughout the body. Custom-issued emergency lights sit on top of the X5 and just under the kidney grilles, further showcasing the breadth of customization BMW undertook to turn this SUV into a full-fledged paramedic vehicle.

The interior of this X5 xDrive30d wasn’t shown in any of the photos, but to serve its purpose, we can surmise that BMW removed most of the accessories from a standard X5 and slapped on a host of life-saving equipment. It should also have tremendous amounts of space and an automatic tailgate that makes it more accessible in times of emergency.

Another important element of this paramedic vehicle is its engine. In this case, this X5 comes with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder in-line diesel engine that produces 258 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, more than enough power to be of good use in emergency situations. It’s also been equipped with xDrive all-wheel drive, allowing it to successfully navigate through the toughest of terrain.

The BMW X5 xDrive30d Paramedic Vehicle is one of seven vehicles BMW is bringing to ReTTmobil. But we’re guessing that lots of eyes will be on this one.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW X5.

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BMW Sends an Armed Repo Team and Helicopter to Get Back a Loaner Car, but Ultimately Fails

BMW Sends an Armed Repo Team and Helicopter to Get Back a Loaner Car, but Ultimately Fails

There are some pretty shady repossession companies in the world and “reality” shows like Lizard Lick Towing and Operation Repo dramatize some of the shady actions. Well, apparently in South Africa, they take repossessing a car to a whole new level.

A customer took his brand new BMW 320d to a dealership due to defective air conditioning. The dealer never fixed the car to the customer’s liking, so the customer left the 320d at the dealership until either the issue was fixed or he was issued a replacement car. In the meantime, BMW gave him a loaner 325.

There was some kind of misunderstanding between the customer and BMW about how long he was allowed to use the loaner car for, as BMW had tried multiple times to recover said loaner. Well, this last time, BMW sent Netstar to his house armed with guns and a helicopter hovering overhead and allegedly forced the customer to turn over the keys.

After turning over the keys, the customer got a court order forcing the BMW dealer to give him back the loaner car and both sides will have to present their case in front of the High Court within 30 days for a final judgment. The customer claims that BMW said that he could keep the loaner car until the situation is resolved, but the BMW dealer is claiming that the case may take up to three years and they would never loan a car for that long.

In all, this is a messy situation for the dealership and BMW as a whole. We think it might be time for BMW’s corporate offices to step in and just handle this situation and give the customer a new car with correctly operating A/C. It’ll be a small price to pay to keep negative press from spreading too far.

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$1.5 Million in Luxury Cars Seized by U.S. Customs

$1.5 Million in Luxury Cars Seized by U.S. Customs

There are a lot of new car scams in the world and most of them are initiated by the new car dealer, not the buyer. A group of buyers flipped the script on several Los Angeles dealerships, by using fake identities to purchase 20 cars and were shipping them to Hong Kong and Vietnam to sell them for two to three times their U.S. value.

It was a laundry list of luxury vehicles, such as a $280,000 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia, an Audi Quattro, 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4, along with several Mercedes, Lexus, Infiniti, and BMW SUVs among others. For some reason, the thieves even threw in a Toyota Tundra.

The one that got these fraudsters busted was the Ferrari 458 Italia, as Ferrari fitted the supercar with a GPS system as standard, which Ferrari used to track the car once they found out they were defrauded. This led U.S. Customs and the California highway Patrol to conduct a full investigation and find the cars on a ship that had already pulled away from the port.

Needless to say, that ship was forced to come back and all but four of the cars were recovered. The four non-recovered cars are due to be shipped back by Vietnamese Customs.

According to the report, had the fraudsters not gone after the Ferrari, chances are they would have gotten away with this scam and made a ton of money in the process. The total amount of the vehicles seized by U.S. customs is estimated at $1.5 million, which would have pulled in around $3 million in Hong Kong and Vietnam.

We are still trying to figure out what in the world a Toyota Tundra was doing in the mix with all of these high-end luxury cars. We also wonder which thief drew the short straw and was stuck going to the Toyota dealership to pick this thing up?

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BMW 7 Series investigated by NHTSA

BMW 7 Series investigated by NHTSA

Usually unflappable German engineering has taken a hit today. BMW has announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has initiated an investigation that centers on 120,000 2002-2008 7-Series models, ranging from the 730d to the 760li. This investigation began after a 2006 7-Series experienced an incident in which, after being placed in park, did not fully engage the park gear and proceeded to roll a short distance. This gearbox is designed to automatically shift into park, for example, when the vehicle is turned off.

If this pending investigation makes you nervous, keep in mind that the NHTSA has said that a) "thus far, no cause has been identified for any of the rollaway incidents" and b) it is not a full scale recall, just a preliminary investigation.

You may ask us, would we still buy one? Well, we have nothing but praise for the 7 series. We find it to be truly staggering, leaving us to shake our head in disbelief that a car the size of the state of Kansas can be made this fun to drive. This potential gearbox glitch does not affect our view of the Roundel and we continue to look reverently upon each model. This full size luxury sedan did not disappoint us and it won’t let you down either.

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German Court orders destruction of all BMW X5 look-alike !

German Court orders destruction of all BMW X5 look-alike !

Last week, we brought you news about the Chinese counterpart of the BMW X5 and how the German court banned the maker from selling it in Germany. For those who thought the escapade was over, wait till you hear this.

A German court in Munich has slotted into top gear and ordered Shuanghuan to destroy all their SUVs plying German roads. Making matters worse is the court’s notice to importers, China Automobile, to pay compensatory damages to BMW.

BMW as expected is overjoyed with the court’s verdict which was imminent when BMW’s spokesperson stated that "We are pleased that the court has agreed with our views”

The not so happy Karl Schloessl of China Automobile Germany, said he would launch an appeal against the ruling, which is not yet binding, saying he was prepared to take the case to the European Court of Justice.

It was impossible to ban a vehicle in Germany that was allowed to be on the road in the rest of Europe, Schloessl said, adding that there were more than a 1,000 of them on the road in Italy.

This news serves as a slap on the face of Chinese automakers as a whole. If further verdicts support BMW which I think will, there would be no other choice for Shuanghuan other than plucking its SUVs off German roads and sending them to the crushers. With that said, Chinese automakers will be forced to think twice before bringing their copy cars to Germany again.

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BMW X5 look-alike banned in Germany

BMW X5 look-alike banned in Germany

Chinese cars are cheap to buy, and some don’t have a good reputation for being safe or hot cakes in developed markets. Above all that, the majority resemble BMW’s, Audi’s and Mercedes’ designs.

Glance at the car pictured above. If I were to strip off its badge and park it alongside a previous generation BMW X5, would you be able to tell them apart? I’m very optimistic that you wouldn’t. One can argue that cars today are somewhat similarly designed, headlamps, tail lamps, and quarter glass panels are carried over from one model to another, but definitely not entire cars.

BMW had taken legal action against Shuanghuan by filing a case in a German court in September last year, for making the CEO (Pictured) based on their X5 SUV. The case now has come to an end, BMW emerging victorious in the battle, as the court ruled that Shuanghuan’s CEO infringes BMW’s design rights.

Furthermore, the court announced that Shuanghuan is banned from selling their CEO in Germany.

But Managing Director Karl Schloessl is not happy about the verdict. He complains that the CEO is an entirely different car compared to the X5. He plans to fight again by appealing against the court’s decision.

’It is a one-sided judgment, but of course it was made in Munich. It’s a BMW city," expressed the unhappy director on the court’s verdict.

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