BMW X5 Le Mans - A 700 HP Monster That Heralded The X5 M Dynamic SUV
|   Thursday, December 03, 2015
Sometimes automakers create controversial concepts that are able to generate patterns of production at least as controversial. This time we have the dynamic SUV which has become very common. At present, the major auto manufacturers have one, some having even more than one in their model range. But 15 years ago, this thing seemed sheer madness. Appearing in 1999, the Bavarian's SUV, BMW X5 stirred much controversy.

Behind the experimental realization of the BMW X5 Le Mans car there is essentially just technical ambition.
The engineers at BMW wanted to explore and demonstrate in practice the real absolute limits of the X5.

As a positive collateral effect, their work produced a convincing exhibition piece whose strong appearance reflects its impressive interiors values.
As a result, to motivate fans of the brand and to demonstrate that the X5 retains the character of Driver's Car typical for the Bavarian models, at the 2000Geneva Motor Show, those at BMW presented an inedited concept called X5 Le Mans.

Being built to celebrate the glorious victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1999, the BMW X5 Le Mans had a lot in common with the famous marathon than just the name. The most important ingredient was the V12 engine, displacing 6.0 liters, which was taken directly from the winner prototype of Le Mans, BMW V12 LMR.
This monster model with the naturally aspirated unit developed 700 hp at 5,400 rpm and 720 Nm of torque at 5,000 rpm and was connected to a 6 speed manual gearbox!

With such potential, the SUV weighing 2.170 kg, accelerated from 0 to 100 km / h (0 to 60 mph) in 4.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 311 km / h (193 mph)! But that was not the greatest folly.

The Germans that sat at the wheel of this unbelievable SUV, former F1 driver Hans Joachim Stuck, who scored 7 minutes and 50 seconds on the legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife (being Germans, they have a biological attraction to the ‘ring), being equal to one of the fastest production models in those days – the BMW M3 CSL E46. Such a time is fast by today's standards, and that happened 15 years ago.

The infernal X5 Le Mans was distinguished in particular by modified bumpers, lower ground clearance, a hood with huge air intake, mirrors taken over from the BMW M3 E46, 20 inch rims, the exhaust system placed in the middle, and Spartan inside with 4 clamshell chairs.

Definitely this vehicle served as an impetus for creating the dynamic version X5 M. However, the first generation did not have a version created by M division, as customers were not ready for such a shock, with only the second and more recently third generation having received the X5 M dynamic version.

The new BMW X5 M generation needs only 575 hp to reach the first hundred kilometers in 4.2 seconds, making it 0.4 seconds faster than the X5 Le Mans. The new technologies and the automatic gearbox with 8 steps have made this possible, but nobody so far is able to take away the BMW X5 Le Mans' brutality!
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