BMW's First Attempt at Creating a X5M: the X5 Le Mans

BMW X5 Le Mans 7 photos
Photo: BMW
BMW X5 Le MansBMW X5 Le MansBMW X5 Le MansBMW X5 Le MansBMW X5 Le MansBMW X5 Le Mans
Before creating the beast known today as BMW X5M, the Bavarian manufacturer created a prototype based on the E53 platform called X5 Le Mans edition.
BMW's first attempt at creating a powerful, almost racing, SAV had a 700 HP 6-liter V12 S70 engine coming from the Le Mans winning BMW V12 LMR. However, that wasn't the only thing changed on the 1999 machine.

The Le Mans X5 also had 4 bucket seats, a lowered suspension for better stability on the track and it was drastically lighter. After assembling everything into one piece, the SAV was taken to the Nurburgring and handed over to racing driver Hans Joachim Stuck that managed to finish a lap in 7 minutes 50 seconds, significantly faster than an Z8 whilst also reaching a top speed of 311 km/h on the fastest sections of the circuit.

However BMW decided that the E53 wasn't good enough and did some more research until finally unveiling the E70 X5M in 2009. This turned out to be a great decision, the E70 M car receiving great reviews and becoming, in a short period of time, one of the most popular cars sold by BMW.
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