High-performance crossovers are a dozen today, but we haven’t seen anything like this BMW X5. That’s because it’s powered by the V-12 engine from a McLaren F1 supercar.
The BMW X5 Le Mans was a one-off experiment by BMW in 2000 and is presented here in a short video on the BMW Group Classic YouTube channel.
As the name suggests, the X5 actually crammed the racing version of the McLaren F1 V-12 between its front fenders. The engine, known as the P75, drove the prototype of the BMW V-12 LMR to victory in the 1999 Le Mans 24 Hours – BMW’s only overall victory in the legendary endurance race.
BMW X5 Le Mans
According to BMW, the 6.0-liter V-12 in the X5 has more than 700 hp. That’s a lot more than the race car’s 580 hp because the engineers removed the air flow restrictors required for the competition (for reference, the 6.1-liter S70 version made 618 hp in the McLaren F1). Hans-Joachim Stuck also drove the unique X5 to a 7:49 lap on the Nürburgring.
Externally, BBS wheels, a deep air intake in the bonnet and an exhaust exiting in the middle are indications that this is no ordinary X5. However, it won’t be very good on school trips as BMW removed the rear seats (the photos from the time show that rear seats were installed in one place). The interior also bears E39 M5 displays and the warning signs typical of a prototype vehicle.
BMW tried to get the most out of the supercar engine it had developed. The company also stuffed one of the V-12s into an E34 M5 wagon and considered using it as a 1990 version of the M8 that never existed. At least by the end of this video, you can hear the X5’s V-12 and think about what could have been.The post There’s a BMW X5 with a 700 hp McLaren F1 V-12 under the hood first appeared on monter-une-startup.