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10 Things You Should Know About the BMW X5

With more than 1.3 million sold units worldwide, the BMW X5 is a bestseller in its class and a unstoppable success since 15 years. This and the debut of the all new BMW X5 hybrid is reason enough for us, to bring 10 facts you may not know about the X5 to you!

BMW X5 Le Mans

The Idea for a totally new sports utility vehicle was born back in 1994, when BMW acquired the Rover Group. The take over of Land Rover brought benefits in the development of the BMW X5, which finally shared engine and electronic system with the Land Rover HSE models.

The Design of Frank Stephenson and his team won the intern challenge for the completely new car. When it was approved by the board of management the concept car jump into production without any additional design changes.

The production of the BMW X5 started at the end of 1999 in BMW’s South Carolina plant in Greer, USA (Spartanburg). First it was built along with the BMW Z3 roadster and shortly afterwards joined by the BMW X3.
Today the Spartanburg plant produces all BMW X models and will become the largest BMW plant worldwide by 2016.

The BMW X5 Le Mans (picture above) was constructed by the BMW M engineers back in 2000. It was build to demonstrate what a BMW Sports Activity Vehicle is able to do at the legendary Nürburgring. The 700 hp strong BMW X5 prototype was set a new record, when Hans Joachim Stuck managed to do a lap at 7.49,92 minutes at the Green Hell – three seconds faster than the BMW M3 GTS. The early predecessor of the BMW X5 M was powered by the Le Mans winning BMW V12 LMR engine.

Seven Heaven The second-generation BMW X5 was the brand’s first model that could be equipped with up to seven seats. It showed up in 2006, precisely chiselled by the hand of designer Pierre Leclercq, who was also responsible for the design of the BMW X6.
Third-row seating is available for the recent X5 as well.

BMW X5 - Milestone

A Milestone in sales for the BMW X5 came 2014, with a total of 147,381 units handed over to customers in just one year. In fact today one of three sold BMW is a X Series model.

The BMW X5 M and X6 M were introduced at the 2009 New York Auto Show, as the first vehicles from BMW M GmbH to have an xDrive all-wheel-drive system and automatic transmissions. Back then, the BMW X5 M was the fastest SUV on earth … Back in December 2014 the successor – a new generation of BMW X5 M and X6 M – premiered and made their market debut this week at the local dealerships in Europe.

Safe and Sound – Оver the years the BMW X5 won numerous awards for design, safety and quality. In 2013 winning “The Golden Steering Wheel” in the SUV category – one of the most prestigious car awards in the world. Also, the car received the “Top Safety Pick Award” for outstanding crash test results from the America’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) two years in a row (2007 and 2008).

BMW X5 - Awards

Power without compromise The Third generation of BMW X5 is already setting new benchmarks and is the first BMW model to offer the all three drive features – xDrive (4-wheel-drive), sDrive (rear-wheel-drive) and eDrive – a xDrive version with electrified drivetrain.

The Future of BMW X5 is arriving faster than you may think. The first plug-in hybrid production car from the BMW core brand – the new BMW X5 xDrive40e – will debut in only just а few days at the 2015 Auto Show in Shanghai. The BMW Motor Show Blog crew will be there and cover the Auto Show live!

Published: 17. April 2015

About the author

Thomas Gigold has been writing about cars for more than ten years. He loves long road trips, is father of three and lives in Germany. Thomas is the Editor-in-chief at the MOTOR SHOW BLOG. Learn more.

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