The E53 BMW X5, the first generation of the X5, was never a car that had serious off-road capability. Sure, BMW marketed it as an SUV that could handle some rough terrain, but no X5 is going to be able to handle Moab. Serious off-roading is just not what the BMW X5 was meant to do. The X5 was designed to be cushy and comfortable and luxurious. It was not built to off-road.
Well, a man by the name of Brian Foster had other ideas about that and decided to create a serious off-road monster out of a first-gen BMW X5. It’s crazy.
This 2002 BMW X5 has been stripped out, jacked up, ripped apart and injected with steroids. The BMW engine was replaced with a Chevy-sourced 4.8 liter LS V8 and then turbocharged. Here’s how Foster describes it: “It’s currently tuned for 11psi on E85 with 13.5 degrees of timing and 5psi on 91 octane with 20 degrees of timing. Both tunes are very safe as it was meant for dirt and snow runs. The SUV is setup to get the crap beaten out of it and drive it to work the next day. I just got the thing done about a month ago give or take. It took a full year out of my life building it before and after working 40 plus hours a week.”
Apparently, he sold the beastly X5 for $8,000 which is either a ripoff or a steal, depending on your outlook. It is pretty impressive and thoroughly done, but it’s also not really an X5 anymore, so if you’re a BMW fan it’s pretty sacrilegious. However, it is pretty cool that Foster had an idea for a monster and just went out and created it. It’s something that every car enthusiast would love to do, dream up a crazy idea and actually make it a reality.
So if you like LS-swapped BMWs, which a lot of people do, check out this monster BMW X5.