The same engine that powers the recently-introduced BMW 535d has just helped Khalifa Al-Mutawei and co-driver Alain Guehennec to win the 2004 FIA World Cup Cross Country title, driving a BMW X-raid X5. Using a tuned version of the 3.0-litre twin turbo diesel engine in the BMW 535d, Al-Mutawei clinched the title by winning the final round of the championship on the Por Las Pampas Rally in Argentina.
The FIA World Cup Cross Country series, which features seven rounds in places as far apart as Argentina, the United Arab Emirates and the Western Sahara, traditionally culminates in many competitors entering the non-championship Dakar Rally. Al-Mutawei and Guehennec were crowned overall winners, beating Stéphane Peterhansel and Carlos Sousa, both in Mitsubishis.
Al-Mutawei said: "We are a small team compared with the likes of Mitsubishi, Nissan and Volkswagen, but the X5 has been the ideal all-round car for the terrain. It has bags of power and low down torque, which makes it particularly competitive in soft sand and sand dunes."Published 24 December 2004