February 8, 2023

The BMW X5 Le Mans Prototype Had a Screaming Race-Spec V-12

The BMW X5 M, you likely know it nicely by now. It really is what occurs when BMW can take the standard X5 and grants it with supercar electricity and sports motor vehicle handling. Given that its introduction around a 10 years back, the X5 M has been shifting our perception of what a effectiveness SUV can be. And it was impressed by an extremely-potent prototype SUV from Munich that was significantly far more bonkers than the X5 M that adopted: the X5 Le Mans.

Just how excessive was the X5 Le Mans? Absolutely revised bodywork—including a new hood, bulging fenders, and a decreased journey height—give the Le Mans a punchy search. Lightweight BBS LM wheels and a roll cage have been added afterwards. Light-weight buckets swap the first seats, and a gear lever for the six-pace handbook transmission stands very pleased in the heart console. But the genuine clearly show-stopper is below the hood.

Mated to that guide ‘box is the 6.1-liter obviously aspirated S70/3 V-12 out of the BMW V12 LMR, a roofless Le Mans prototype racer that took the overall win at the famed 24 hour race in 1999 (and a version of which was equipped to the great McLaren F1 GTR). Due to FIA procedures and restrictions, the V12 LMR built a wimpy 580 horsepower. By the time BMW set it inside of the X5 Le Mans, the twelve-cylinder produced much more than 700 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque—more ability than nearly every single SUV we have seen to day, help save the blown Mopar examples. BMW suggests the X5 Le Mans is great for a 4.7-2nd -62 mph time. While its claimed prime speed is 172 mph, Hans-Joachim Stuck achieved 191 mph for the duration of his history-environment Nürburgring run.

In 2001, Caught set a lap time of 7:49 in the X5 Le Mans all over the 12.9-mile lengthy Nordschleife circuit. For a minor context, that’s approximately as quick as the unique Pagani Zonda and the Bugatti EB 110 SS, and tied with a C6 Corvette Z06. The SUV lap-file wasn’t broken until 2020, and the Audi RS Q8 currently retains the SUV lap document with a time of 7:42 seconds. Of class, the Le Mans hardly ever produced it into generation due to the fact it failed to have airbags and possible was not heading to fulfill the needed basic safety (or emissions) regulations—even in the late ’90s.

It was a really serious machine, and it served as evidence of what BMW’s engineers could do when they acquired their fingers on an SUV. The X5 Le Mans paved the way for the X5 M, a person of the initial certainly really serious overall performance SUVs, which in flip assisted pave the way for the superior-functionality SUVs that followed—and they all owe a very little bit to that wild ‘Ring-conquering X5 Le Mans.