Two BMW X5 diesel models finished fourth and eighth in the world’s most rigorous off-road event – the 17 day Paris to Dakar rally raid that finished on Sunday, 18 January.
Luc Alphand, multiple men’s downhill skiing champion and Le Mans racer, not only finished fourth overall in his X5 but also took two outright stage victories on this year’s marathon.
Popular myth suggests that, while the X5 excels on the tarmac, it is incapable of off-road excursions. Since this year’s Paris – Dakar covered almost 7,000 miles (including 3,400 competitive stage miles) through sand and mud, over rock and dodging camel grass and palm trees, these privately-entered BMW X5s surprised quite a few pundits.
Perhaps its ‘hidden’ talents help explain why BMW X5 sales increased by 28 per cent in the UK last year.Published 24 January 2004