The 101st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb didn’t end well for the BMW and its XM Label Red luxury SUV. In its attempt to take down the record for the fastest production SUV at Pikes Peak, the 738 horsepower BMW XM ended its run with a crash. Fortunately, the driver Matt Mullins escaped unscathed. BMW of North America won’t comment on the reasons for the crash but it did issue the following statement: “Unfortunately, our hopes for a record run with the BMW XM today ended with a race incident. Driver Matt Mullins is disappointed but unhurt. The focus now is on repairing the vehicle and planning for another record attempt later this summer.”
BMW Still Confident in XM’s Record-Breaking Potential
For now, the Lamborghini Urus is still the the production-SUV at Pikes Peak with a 10:32.064 time recorded in 2022. The previous record was set in 2018 by the Bentley Bentayga which was 18 seconds quicker: 10:49.902. BMW felt confident prior to the event that they will be able to break the record with the more powerful XM Label Red. While the unfortunate crash prevented BMW’s XM from showcasing its potential, the absence of an electrified powertrain in competitors like the Lamborghini Urus could have been a significant advantage. Unlike its counterparts, the XM’s electric motor, generating 194 hp, would have maintained consistent performance at higher altitudes throughout the climb.
Rhys Millen Sets Personal Best for Production Cars
Nonetheless, BMW had reason to celebrate on the eventful day. Pikes Peak veteran Rhys Millen achieved a personal best for production cars, conquering the challenging course in an impressive 10 minutes and 12 seconds, piloting a BMW M8 to the pinnacle. Rhys Millen’s vehicle selection for the Pikes Peak race was based on the crucial engine-to-weight ratio and a preference for a four-wheel drive option, crucial for scaling the challenging hill. While some competitors arrived with vehicles weighing less than 2,000 pounds, Millen’s choice aimed to strike a balance between power and performance. The BMW M8 Competition weighs nearly 4,300 lbs.
You can see the damaged BMW XM at the 4:50:38 seconds mark: