BMW X5 with 700 hp LeMans Race Car Engine Swap

Back in 2000,  BMW picked an X5 right off of their South Carolina assembly line and sent it to their factory in Munich to do an engine swap of all engine swaps…installation of ’99 Le Mans 6.0 liter V12 race engine with 700 horsepower. While the story of this ludicrous SUV has made it’s way around the internet for quite a few years already, we felt an obligation to include it here since it epitomizes what the hobby of car builds is all about. Plus, listening to a Le Mans race engine being wrung out on a track by driving legend Hans Stuck never gets old, even if we don’t understand a word of the German he speaks. Watch him rip it around the Nurburgring in the video on the following page…
1 7
To handle all of the extra horsepower, an 850CSi  6 speed ZF transmission with a twin plate racing clutch was used since it is said to withstand up to 531 pound feet of torque. It is suggested that 1st and 2nd gears be feathered at half throttle, although 3rd through 6th are WOT.
10 12
Suspension was lowered 1.9 inches front and 1.6 inches rear with firmer springs and bushings, and it rolls on our favorite BBS E88 rims with 275/35ZR20 fronts and 315/35ZR20’s rear.

ABS and BMW’s hill-descent feature were both tossed, but everything else is reportedly stock, including it’s 38% front and 62% rear torque split.

Find the full story here at:
Photos sourced from:


Leave a comment