BMW offers a whole range of cars, sport-utes, and even motorcycles that make for good first-responder vehicles. The 4 Series is not one of them, but that’s precisely what the Bavarian automaker is showcasing this week at Europe’s principal emergency vehicle exposition.
Visitors to the RETTmobil show be greeted at the main entrance by a 440i Gran Coupe, all decked out in eye-catching livery and streamlined strobe lights. Of course the form itself is rather less useful than, say, a 3 Series Touring wagon, but BMW points out that between the four doors and the 17 cubic feet of cargo space, the streamlined sedan is surprisingly versatile.
We’re still not convinced a four-door coupe makes for a good ambulance, but the 326 horsepower and 5-second 0-62 time would at least help it get to the scene (and back to the hospital) in a hurry. Fortunately there are plenty of other models in the BMW lineup that would better serve the purpose, and the manufacturer is displaying several of them inside the hall in Fulda, Germany.
There’s an X5 and 220d xDrive Grand Tourer equipped for mobile doctors, an X1 for on-site operations management, and an R 1200 RT first-responder motorcycle – all equipped with special equipment to help get to people in need and treat them. Perhaps most interesting, though, is the low-key 520d sedan that takes a rather different approach for undercover police – an unmarked vehicle that you wouldn’t even know is on duty until the hidden lights start flashing.
The automaker’s emergency-vehicle range encompasses nine automobiles and four motorcycles – including as well the 7 Series, X3, and i3 – which it dispatches to first-responder fleets around the world, and has since the Munich police first acquired 501s and 502s back in the 1950s.