Ever wanted to put an atmo V12 into an X5? Probably not, but BMW did it anyway.
The result of that magnificent engine being put into its strange new home was the BMW X5 LeMans, a manual people-mover (with only four seats) which could hit 100km/h in 4.7 seconds.
The thing is said to have put out about 520kW, with torque likely far exceeding the 650Nm the engine made when stock.
And it sounds glorious. As a V12 should.
In the video at the top of this page – which is in German and looks as old as the X5 itself – BMW put ex-F1 driver Hans-Joachim Stuck in the X5 LeMans and sent him off for a lively run on the Nurburgring.
What is most immediately obvious is that the X5 LeMans is very, very fast.
Then, you should probably spare a thought for anyone who has ridden in the back seat. There is no comfort mode on this thing, and the suspension travel looks almost non-existent. For an SUV, anyway.
Bonus points to Stuck for getting the thing airborne – check out 2:10 in the video above.
It turns out, there’s also pretty good quality on-board footage of the drive too. So, do you want to know how fast it was?
Seven minutes and fifty seconds. In 2000. With a top speed of 310km/h.
For context, the Porsche 911 Carrera S did it in 7:50 as well. But that was in 2008.
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