BMW X5 E53 Ready for Off-Road Tracks

When it comes to niche products like sleek sedans and coupe-inspired SUVs, German luxury carmakers often copy each other. Audi and BMW, on the other hand, have both resisted the temptation to copy Mercedes and the long-running G-Class. The respectable body car has been around since the late 1970s, with the obvious exception of the Land Rover Defender and the planned BMW-powered Ineos Grenadier.

His E53 X5 is now a proper off-road vehicle after deciding to take matters into his own hands. We couldn’t resist taking the SUV off the usual path, even though our Polish was a little rusty. Westlake M/T tires and higher suspension, which give it more ground clearance, make it stand out from the crowd.

The X5’s approach angle has been improved by eliminating the front bumper and installing a snorkel that allows the engine to breathe while wading through water. To access the roof rack, a ladder has been added to the rear of the car. The E53’s suspension has also been strengthened and we are pleased to report that the owner drives the car well in muddy and bumpy conditions.

Custom builds like this should prompt BMW to explore the possibility of a more competent SUV to complement its large range of road-oriented X models. A ladder-frame-based XM to challenge the G-Class and Defender would have made more sense. The X7-based X7 pickup was a prototype commercial vehicle from BMW. 

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