BMW has long been suspected of developing an “M” version of the X5 (X6, too). Now, even though I hate to acknowledge it, there’s official video from BMW showing an X5 M testing on the Nurburgring. We’ve known of these prototypes for quite some time, but I always hoped it would turn out to just be a hot version of the X5 that didn’t quite go so far as to whore out and wear the hallowed “M” badge. It used to be that every “M” car had rear-wheel-drive, a shift-it-yourself gearbox, and a high-strung naturally-aspirated engine. That’s not to say that a proper X5 M is an impossibility, but the upcoming all-wheel-drive, self-shifting, twin-turbo machine is none of the things a legit “M” should be [Ed note: Just so y'all know, our own Jack Baruth considers non inline-6 Ms to be illegitimate]. A truly Fiendish X5 is something like the one pictured here, the V12-powered X5 Le Mans.
BMW’s 1999 LeMans-winning LMR prototype made about 580 horsepower. That may sound like too much power for an X5, but they decided to lift that engine from the race car anyways — why not? But, it was then stripped of all its restrictions required to make it comply with the rules of racing. Meaning the engine was making about 700 horsepower. Not to mention the rest of the vehicle was modified accordingly, with racing seats, ground-hugging suspension, and whatnot. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect recipe for an X5 M to you, I’ll let Mr. Hans Stuck take it from here (in German) in this video.