• May 13, 2009
BMW X6 xDrive50i Ambulance – Click above for a high-res image gallery

You know you've always wanted to drive a four-hundred-horsepower BMW through city streets like a bat out of hell, and now the Bavarian automaker has the legal remedy. All you'll need to do is get certified as an ambulance driver and convince your local emergency response unit to invest in this X6 ambulance, which BMW is showcasing at the upcoming RETTmobil rescue vehicle show in Fulda, Germany. The ultimate driving machine question is, which will be more difficult? Considering on one hand that the certification process is takes longer than the ending of a Peter Jackson film, and on the other that ambulances tend to require a lot of space and that the X6 is among the least utile crossover vehicles on the market, we'd say it's about a draw.

Following the X6 M safety car which BMW rolled out for MotoGP, in actuality this specially-equipped X6 xDrive50i, (complete with 407hp twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 and more lighting than Kevin Costner's corn field) is being presented as a first-responder vehicle, carrying a doctor or paramedic to the scene of an emergency before an ambulance can get there. Few details are available, but then again, there are few cities with the kind of budget to acquire one of these bad boys. Check it out in the gallery below.



[Source: BMW]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess it makes sense as a responder vehicle in Germany. However, if it were to be used as a traditional ambulance in the US, it would make no sense as ambulances should be tall and have lots of room to be able to maneuver patients in (especially in emergency situations).
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's not an ambulance. Can anyone read or comprehend anything that's been said regarding the fact that it's a FIRST responder vehicle. Guess what, the F1 doctor car isn't an ambulance either, it just carries a DOCTOR and a some gear and equipment to take care of FIRST response, the ambulance comes LATER!
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I get rescued, I want it to be in a Ford Expedition or a Ford Excursion.

      Unless the injured and dying really must have supple leather and exquisite worksmanship a BMW X6 is worse than overkill.
      • 5 Years Ago
      LOL @ people who think it's an ambulance. You should see our motorcycle ambulances...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm an EMS volunteer in Upstate New York, and virtually all of the EMS corps here in the Northeast have fly cars, and as lilredhunter said, they're usually Explorers, Excursions, Suburbans. If our paramedic or duty crew chief responds to a scene in the fly car--which they often have at their house or whatever rather than at the ambulance bays--they'll ride to the hospital in the ambulance and then we'll take them back to get the fly car after we've delivered the patient. Since the limits of our ambulance district are at most a 10- or 15-mile trip, that's not too inefficient, particularly since the majority of our runs are a mile or three.

      So the BMW proposal isn't a joke; lots of volunteer corps, particularly in wealthy communities, have lots of money to spend on shiny rolling stock (at least in good times) and I can see a Scarsdale, say, literally buying a BMW fly car. AFter all, they buy $140,000 ambulances and even $200,000 "rescue rigs."

      There's really no EMS equipment big enough to require a Suburban these days, although "boys love trucks" and they prefer the big SUVs. You could get all you need--trauma bag, airway bag, pediatric bag, defibrillator, portable EKG, O2, some splints and miscellaneous equipment--into a well-laid-out vehicle like this BMW. the stuff like backboards and Reeves and litters come in the ambulance.

      People who don't know a thing about EMS should stop being so snarky.

      Stephan Wilkinson
        • 5 Years Ago
        You obviously need my book, "Man and Machine," which is a collection of many of those columns plus a number of other car/airplane pieces I've written over the years. Also take a look at "The Gold-Plated Porsche." They're both easy to find on amazon.com, where you'll learn more about me than you ever wanted to know. Thank you for your kind compliments, by the way!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I used to do a column for Pop Sci, "Man and Machine," but they've really turned into little more than a Sharper Image catalogue. I currently write mainly for Conde Nast Traveler, ForbesLife and Aviation History mags. 'Preciate your recognizing my name; usually only wives and mothers read bylines...
      • 5 Years Ago
      What does this fatty do better than a 5 series wagon? I'm sure BMW could put the TT 4.4 V8 in it as well.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wagons can be lifted a couple inches with no problem, in addition to awd. Hell of a lot easier and less wasteful than designing this dog turd on wheels.
        • 5 Years Ago
        ride height?
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 5 Years Ago
      Who do they plan on transporting in that ambulance, small childeren and midgets?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        @Markus, I have also seen similar first response vehicle system. I believe it is in Hong Kong where traffic is often very congested. But instead of sending a car, a first response motorcycle would be sent to the scene. The motorcycle is able to squeeze between cars to get to the scene much faster than an ambulance. The paramedic who rides the motorcycle will assist with the injured and will report to the control station about the severity of their injuries.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        As is said in the article, it is a first responder vehicle, not an ambulance. In Germany many (most? all?) ambulance services use this rendevous system, where the doctor and possibly a paramedic get to the scene in a normal car (A6 wagon or the like, though not normally V8-powered ;)) and the ambulance gets to the scene seperately. This increases the chances of somebody getting there quickly in general, plus, not all ambulance stations need to have an emergency doctor on stand-by, greatly increasing efficiency (in Germany, the concept is, not to just send an ambulance with paramedics to a severe emergency, but to get an actual doctor there and start treatment on-scene and during transit). The doctor would start his work on scene, then board the ambulance together with the patient and I think his first responder vehicle is then driven back either by his assistant or by one of the ambulance staff or even by the cops, not sure about that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        It's a first responder vehicle, not a transport. The whole point is to get on the scene as quickly as possible to attend to the victim, allowing time for another (slower) vehicle to arrive to take the victims to a care center.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        you're right , Bloke , logic and common sense are not welcome on these forums :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        like Markus eyplained it clearly tells it is a "Notarzt" car.... emergency doctor car...

        The main reason for the German rendevous system is that after first aid by a real emergency doctor there is no reason that he drives with the patient to the hospital. So the doctor would waste in nearly all situation endless time bording the amublance to transport the patient to hospital. This way he is much sooner free for the next emergency call.

        As bizzar this vehicle looks... there is a government law which clearly tells the minimum technical requirments a emergency doctor car in Germany has to fullfill...
        including
        minimum acceleration
        minimum load
        etc...

        Most vehicles used for such rules are large station wagons like Mercedes E-Class wagon, BMW 5series wagon, Audi A6 wagon and allroad or SUV like BMW X5, Mercedes ML, Audi Q7 etc...
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        Just to make this clear: While I did try to explain (and defend) the concept of the rendevous system and therefore the need for such first responder vehicles , in no way do I approve of or want to be associated in any way with this specific crime against humanity aka the X6!

        What I've seen being used for that purpose so far here in sw-Germany were mainly Audi A6 wagons, 5-series wagons and every now and then an X5, iirc. No clue about the engines, most likely not V8s, probably the midsized 2-2.5l diesels, I guess.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        or less. as a 'look at me' sorta car the x6 works, as a better than the other 'suv's out there performance car, it works. But for holding anything more than a typical European hatchback would carry (it's actually smaller than the GTI inside in a few dimensions) it fails.

        I guess this gets the first responders there asap and they'll wait for a wagon etc to cart the person away? The ambulance cayenne’s we see in Moscow make a lot more sense, there's actual usable space in the back. This, as BMW continues to excel at, baffles. It’s like they’re trying for a production Rinnspeed sort of feel.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        X5 that is what I was thinking too.
        HotRodzNKustoms
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        It's more of a joke than anything guys.

        Anyways, I can see a use for this but cannot help but think that a X5 would be better suited for this duty.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        Also note that in some countries, Luxury Cars used by Municipal Services aren't taxed.

        For example, in England, CO19 and the Diplomatic Protection Group of the Metropolitan Police Department regularly drive around in BMW 5 Series Diesels. Not to mention the use of Volvo's for many RPU (Road Policing Units) and ARV (Armed Response Vehicles) around the country. Also, it's not uncommon to see Land Rovers used by the Cops and the Highways Agency.

        Note this clip where you can see a Highways Agency Land Rover, a Central Motorway Police Group Volvo V70 Wagon, and later on, a BMW X6 with DOCTOR markings.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0BdbbQZRBo

        Heck, even one cop outfit has a Suzuki Hayabusa in their fleet to go after speeding Motorbikes.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8msQmLzwkrg
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        Markus, you're wasting your time, mate. Most of the people posting here won't have a clue, let alone care.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        Had to dig to find it, but here's a link to a much smaller First-Responder:

        http://www.gremlinx.com/Hurst.htm

        Hurst wanted a vehicle to showcase it's newest piece of lifesaving equipment, the "Jaws of Life."

      • 5 Years Ago
      *facepalm*
      just what a wounded person needs to be subjected to...g-forces and sports suspension.

      oh wait, maybe it's to carry emergency medical equipment. In that case, I hope those oxygen cylinders and defibrillators aren't too heavy, considering that joke of a car has a tailgate so tall, most children would have trouble climbing into it.

      Or maybe it's to perform offroad rescues. Mmm yes, BMW's X range is famous for it's offroad proficiency.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm surprised everyone forgot Porsche has a Cayenne that is ACTUALLY an ambulance:
      http://www.autoblog.com/2007/05/10/porsche-builds-cayenne-s-ambulancefor-emergency-personnel/
      • 5 Years Ago
      An ugly car made uglier.
      Nice.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So it's first on the scene, but can only bring bandaids.
        • 5 Years Ago
        *Insert Top Gear joke here*
        • 5 Years Ago
        Leather bandaids with cross-stitching.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Still don't like it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In Denmark this is not unusual. I've seen lots of Mercedes M-class and even Audi S6' (V10) Check this Google image search (http://images.google.dk/images?rlz=1C1GGLS_daDK291DK303&sourceid=chrome&q=lægeambulance&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi)

      /Torben Busk
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