While attending the annual BMW of North America’s Test Fest (a drive event with over 100 cars), we had the chance to see upclose the 2024 BMW X2 M35i. But this was not your typical X2. In fact, this particular pre-production series X2 M35i competed in the 2023 Rebelle Rally. The Rebelle Rally is an off-road competition that stands as the longest of its kind in the United States, spanning over 1,500 miles of unforgiving California and Nevada desert terrain. What makes it truly unique is that participants must tackle this harsh environment in unmodified, stock vehicles. That means no fancy performance upgrades or modifications; the cars must rely on their inherent capabilities to conquer this challenging rally.
No GPS Allowed, No Phones
Navigating through the wilderness is another extraordinary aspect of the Rebelle Rally. Teams must steer clear of GPS assistance, instead relying on maps, a compass, and a roadbook to locate and visit a series of checkpoints in sequential order. But the challenges don’t end there. One of the defining rules of the Rebelle Rally is the prohibition of outside help.
Scored Second Place
In the 2023 Rebelle Rally, the BMW X2 M35i entered in the X-Cross class, which features vehicles with two-wheel or all-wheel drive. And the new crossover made quite an impression securing a remarkable second place finish. To prepare this sporty BMW for such a demanding event, a series of enhancements and modifications were made to ensure its performance and durability in extreme off-road conditions.
These enhancements included upgrades such as Falken Wildpeak AT Trail Tires, Rotiform ZMO-M Wheels, Morimoto Triple Row BangerBar in the front, 2Banger Pod lights in the rear, Thule Caprock roof platform, Smittybilt off-road recovery gear and accessories, BMW M Performance Parts tow straps, custom underbody protection/skid plate, custom cargo area spare tire carrier, and a TerraTrip external odometer.
312 Horsepower Under The Hood
There no changes done to the powertrain. So under the hood, the 2024 BMW X2 M35i is powered by the B48 2.0-liter four-cylinder TwinTurbo engine, generating an impressive 312 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm). This powerplant propels the X2 from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 5.2 seconds, showcasing its capability to handle both off-road challenges and on-road performance.
For those interested in owning this capable and rugged BMW, the X2 M35i is set to hit dealerships across the United States in the first quarter of 2024, with an MSRP starting at $51,400. In the end, the 2023 Rebelle Rally was a rigorous test of both human and machine, and the BMW X2 M35i demonstrated that it could not only hold its own but also secure a remarkable second-place finish in this off-road competition.