With its SLS AMG first-response vehicle, Mercedes-Benz may have gotten our attention, but it's hardly the only automaker offering specially equipped emergency vehicles at the RETTmobil expo this year in Fulda, Germany. While Mercedes used the Gullwing to highlight its range of emergency vehicles, BMW is relying on the strength of its full model range to speak for itself.
Among the vehicles BMW is showcasing for the first responders and local government officials visiting the trade show this year is a 5 Series Touring with lights and sirens controlled directly from the iDrive system, and with a specially designed load floor extension with built-in fracture points that allow first responders to access all their equipment while reducing injury in case of a rearward collision.
In response to numerous fatalities caused by traffic colliding with police cars stopped on the side of the road, BMW is also showcasing a specially prepared X3 that is inherently easier to see due to its taller form, and also features additional LED lighting for increased visibility.
There's also an R 1200 RT paramedic motorcycle on display that integrates such features as radio equipment, siren, PA system, strobe lights, fire extinguisher, front crash bar and an electrically adjustable windscreen direct from the factory. Other vehicles on display include X1 and X3 crossovers and 3 and 5 Series wagons for police, fire and paramedic applications, along with the eye-catching 123d police car prepared by AC Schnitzer and the X6 ambulance we reported on back in 2009. Check 'em out in our high-resolution image gallery.
Related GalleryBMW emergency vehicles
BMW at the 11th RETTmobil 2011.
Fulda is preparing for a big influx of visitors to RETTmobil, the leading European trade fair for emergency services and mobility, which will take place from 11 to 13 May 2011. This annual show is a magnet for emergency service workers, paramedics and firefighters, as well as for public authority, local government and trade association personnel looking to learn more about the latest developments and technology in the emergency services sector.
BMW is a regular exhibitor at RETTmobil, where it presents its new developments and displays its latest emergency vehicles, all of which are based on current BMW vehicles.
The BMW Group draws on decades of experience in developing and building emergency vehicles for both German and international fire and emergency services. The special-purpose equipment features are designed and integrated in close cooperation with specialists from the relevant authorities and institutions. The BMW Group is a committed partner of such organisations, contributing innovative technology that helps them cope with the wide range of challenges in the fields of firefighting, hazard control, emergency assistance and safety.
As well as offering technologically superior special-purpose equipment, the current BMW vehicle range for this sector also sets standards with a host of hallmark brand attributes: all BMW emergency vehicles boast outstanding efficiency, superior power and performance and uncompromising safety, along with reliability unrivalled even by other premium-segment products.
As a world-leading trade fair for the civil protection sector, RETTmobil 2011 is a public showcase for the latest technology in the fields of emergency services, technical assistance and fire and disaster control, and provides an international forum for experts from around the world to exchange their know-how.
Extensive model range caters for every contingency.
With the emergency vehicles they are displaying at RETTmobil, BMW and BMW Motorrad are presenting an up-to-the-minute window on the extensive range of models they offer in this sector. This broad selection of products and technologies caters fully for a wide range of emergency service requirements in the fire and emergency services sector.
The diversity of the vehicle range also makes it possible to respond flexibly to new requirements. All BMW emergency vehicles are available with special-purpose options which are integrated in the vehicle right from the development stage, in accordance with BMW factory standards.
BMW emergency vehicles: integrated development ensures top quality.
For more than 50 years, working with national and international public authorities, BMW has developed emergency vehicles that have always been at the cutting edge and that offer maximum safety, cost-efficiency and innovation, adapted to the relevant local regulations and requirements. Provision for the installation of special-purpose equipment on these vehicles is engineered in right from the start of the development process, and production takes place in parallel with production of regular series models. This ensures the highest standards of quality and functionality.
A particularly good example is the integration of the special signal system into the BMW iDrive control system already used on regular BMW production models. That means this warning system can be operated intuitively using iDrive, just like the navigation system and other comfort functions. It is controlled using the Control Display in the instrument panel, the Controller and the specially configured direct selection buttons on the centre console.
This feature will go on show at this year's RETTmobil in a new BMW 5 Series Touring.