Even in a week which included the launch of a battery-powered Ford Mustang, the biggest talking point from Los Angeles has been the Tesla Cybertruck.
Yet the shattered glass at the launch event, caused by a metal ball, prompted BMW to subtly remind the world that its vehicles already offer bulletproof windows.
Comes with bulletproof windows and offers splinter protection in case it gets hit by a metal ball: The new BMW X5 Protection VR6: https://t.co/XnMPixFvRx
— BMW (@BMW) November 22, 2019
Tesla’s troubles came when design chief Franz von Holzhausen attempted to demonstrate the strength of the glass in the prototype Cybertruck. With Tesla CEO Elon Musk claiming the windows were “bulletproof to a 9mm handgun”, a metal ball should have been no issue.
Instead, the side windows of the Cybertruck shattered when von Holzhausen lugged a metal ball at them, causing splinters and shocked faces in equal measure.
Musk was keen to point out that previous attempts had failed to damage the glass. He added it would be sorted before customers took delivery of production Cybertrucks.
Franz throws steel ball at Cybertruck window right before launch. Guess we have some improvements to make before production haha. pic.twitter.com/eB0o4tlPoz
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 23, 2019
BMW’s tweet about metal balls and splinters was clearly referencing the Tesla event. But also reminding buyers about the impressive abilities of the armoured X5 Protection VR6.
The X5 VR6 has been certified as resistant to firearms and explosives, with its windows one of the key components. It uses multilayered safety glass capable of withstanding attacks by impact weapons – like metal balls – and comes with an internal polycarbonate layer to stop splinters.
BMW does not disclose prices for the X5 VR6, but the X5 M50i that serves as the base for the armoured version begins at £74,620 ($82,150). This makes it considerably more expensive than the anticipated £31,000 ($39,900) Cybertruck.
Although Tesla may have dominated social media with the reveal of the Cybertruck, the event has financial investors worried. Tesla’s share price fell by 6% on Friday after the launch, with Forbes noting that this would wipe $768 million (£599 million) from Elon Musk’s personal wealth alone.
Tesla’s entry-level Model 3 has found success this year, becoming a UK top-10 best-seller earlier this year. Yet the company is also building up a backlog of models to launch, which the Cybertruck only adds to.
Along with the new pickup for 2021, Tesla is promising to launch the Model Y compact crossover, new Roadster, and its Semi truck during 2020. This pressure to deliver, rather than the Cybertruck launch, may be causing investors to worry.
For those needing an armoured pickup truck right now, there is always the option to try and persuade BMW to build a VR6 version of the X7 Pick-up concept.