The X5 Le Mans, never heard of it? I can’t say I’m surprised, it was never an official model, it never ran in any competitive series like the Paris-Dakkar Rally, it was simply a one-off model built by BMW to celebrate their 1999 victory at Le Mans using the 6.0 V12 in the LMR BMW and test the X5’s limits.
How do you celebrate a record win at Le Mans? Simple: you remove the engine from the LMR prototype car – a V12 derived from the same S70 block as the McLaren F1’s V12 – and you cram it into the most illogical vehicle you can find in your line-up in 2000, the X5 SAV.
I’m not a big proponent of BMW’s M Division building an M X5 or what have you, but I do like the idea of one-off vehicles like this in low production that are truly outrageous. Aside from the V12 putting out around 700 horsepower, this behemoth came with a 6-speed manual, 20 inch performance wheels and a significantly lowered suspension. If that’s not enough for you, it’s reported that Hans Stuck – BMW’s famed
touring car and test driver hustled this car around the Nurburgring in under 7 minutes and 50 seconds – that’s only 25 seconds slower than a Nissan GT-R or Porsche 997 GT2 – and that was eight years ago!
Below is the video of the X5 Le Mans in action under the direction of Hans Stuck![youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuRlxl6-uss[/youtube]