BMW X5 4.8is
The X5 was introduced in 1999 and was based on designs penned by Chris Bangle at California’s BMW DesignWorks studio, with production at BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina facility. Known internally as the E53, the original X5 was based heavily on mechanical components from the 5-Series sedan and remained in production through 2006, when it was succeeded by the E70. Uniquely, as one would expect, BMW chose to emphasize on-road performance, referring to the X5 as a Sports Activity, rather than a Sport Utility, vehicle. For example, while the X5 offered all-wheel drive, BMW engineers routed 60 percent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels, retaining the marque’s sporty driving dynamics.
The first truly high performance X5 was the 4.6is, introduced in 2002 with a hefty mark-up over the base 4.4i model. Its introduction prompted serious competition from Mercedes, Porsche and Infiniti, who responded with ever-faster versions of the ML55, Cayenne and FX45. To meet the challenge, BMW unveiled the 4.8is; the 20-inch wheels and lengthy list of standard features remained, but the V8 was stroked by 3.3 mm and now produced 355 bhp and 360 ft-lbs of torque. Additionally, the 4.8is came with the 2004 X5’s improvements, including Valvetronic, a smooth six-speed automatic transmission and xDrive all-wheel drive.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in June of 2010 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, San Diego, California.
355 bhp, 4.8-liter V8 engine with four valves per cylinder and electronic fuel injection, six-speed automatic transmission with manual mode available, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes with ABS. Wheelbase: 111".
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel