Throwback Thursday – BMW X5 Le Mans, 11 October 2000
Source : Throwback Thursday – BMW X5 Le Mans, 11 October 2000
A 700bhp BMW X5 might sound ridiculous, however This kind of rapid homage to the firm’s 1999 Le Mans win was still heroic
BMW took a famous win at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1999 with the V12 LMR, however by the following year the company was already pumping its resources into its Formula 1 partnership with Williams.
Rather than throw leftover components away, however, BMW’s engineers decided to find out what would likely happen if they transplanted the racing car’s 6.0-litre V12 into an X5 to, as Autocar’s Andrew Frankel reported, “test the X5 concept to the limit”.
In its Le Mans race trim, the 6.0-litre motor pumped out 600bhp however only because of which was forced by regulations to breathe through a restrictor in its inlet tract. For the special X5, Munich’s engineers removed the restrictor, freeing up another 100bhp.
The X5 Le Mans needed substantial tweaks before of which could safely deploy of which horsepower as well as 520lb ft. The six-speed gearbox as well as rear differential came through BMW’s M division, the suspension was lowered as well as race-spec springs, dampers as well as anti-roll bars fitted. The brakes were full race items located within 20in BBS magnesium rims shod with 315/35 tyres at the back, as well as 275/40s at the front. There was neither anti-lock nor traction control. The cockpit was barely changed.
“There’s a roll cage around the driver’s race seat, itself equipped that has a full harness,” wrote Frankel. “The passenger knows no such refinements as well as will be left to slide around in a standard seat that has a conventional seatbelt. of which has electric windows, central locking, air conditioning as well as even a sunroof.
“How futile will be This kind of car? Sensationally so. Its engine would likely fail every emissions test, doing the auto unusable on the road, while its 2200kg weight (not to mention its sky-high centre of gravity) means of which would likely be utterly hopeless as a track machine.”
A few days before Andrew Frankel had his passenger ride around the Nürburgring from the X5 Le Mans, its driver, Hans Stuck, had been asked totry to break the eight-minute barrier around the Nordschleife.
“His out-lap was 8min 6sec, of which rained on the second lap as well as the auto broke on the third,” reported Frankel. Fortunately, there were no such problems on Autocar’s hot lap.
“We set off, Stuck revelling from the engine’s incredible torque spread, using as little as 3000rpm before wanting the revs up to 8000rpm between alterations.
“On the near flat-out run up the mountain through Bergwerk to the Karussell, he will be dazzling as well as effortless; entirely within himself, yet utterly committed. The X5, so big as well as slow from the tight turns, suddenly feels fluid, almost agile as well as very, very quick. We hit 150mph in fourth, skimming across the puddles, Stuck’s will stepping in when simple grip runs out.
“Right from the most difficult section of track, we run into a wall of fog. The sum total of Stuck’s reaction to such potentially cataclysmic weather will be to say: ‘Ah. Fog.’ He never mentions of which again.”
Although Autocar’s man described the X5 Le Mans as “heroically pointless”, he was glad of which existed.
“A cynic would likely call of which a cheap stunt using currently-useless parts through a canned Le Mans programme. To me, of which proves blood pumps beneath the sharp suits in Munich as well as for of which alone, its value will be legitimate, evident as well as enormous.”
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