BMW never got into the lucrative off-road SUV segment, deciding to sit on the sidelines and watch Mercedes rake in huge profits with the G-Class. The three-pointed star is working on a smaller version of the popular go-anywhere vehicle to capitalize on the success of its Geländewagen. Its archrival from Munich prefers to focus on performance-oriented crossovers and SUVs, topped by the controversial XM plug-in hybrid.

One of the many sporty X models is the recently introduced X2 in the M35i specification. It's still very much a road-focused performance crossover but it has now been modified for off-road duty to compete in the Rebelle Rally. Don't expect portal axles and a huge suspension lift since the most substantial changes are limited to Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires, Rotiform ZMO-M wheels, and underbody protection with a skid plate.

2024 BMW X2 M35i for 2023 Rebelle Rally

The M Performance X2 has an assortment of other tweaks, varying from extra lights front and rear to a Thule roof rack. It also boasts paint protection film for the swoopy body finished in Frozen Portimao Blue, a matte color from the Individual catalog. This tricked-out M35i has been fitted with tow straps from the M Performance Parts catalog as well as with a spare tire carrier in the cargo area. Rounding off the upgrades Smittybilt off-road recovery gear and accessories along with a TerraTrip external odometer.

Rebelle Rally, the longest off-road rally competition held in the United States, is an eight-day race that starts at Mammoth Mountain Resort in Mammoth Lakes and ends in the Imperial Dunes near the Mexican border. This 2024 BMW X2 M35i must tackle six stages and cover over 1,300 miles (nearly 2,100 kilometers) in tough conditions found in the deserts of California and Nevada.

The compact sporty crossover from BMW is competing in the X-Cross class with Rebecca Donaghe behind the wheel and Sedona Blinson as the navigator. This year's edition started on October 12 and will end on Saturday, October 21.

As a final note, we should point out the X2 M35i sold in the United States is more powerful than the European version. It gets 312 horsepower from the turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine whereas the equivalent model sold on the Old Continent has to make do with 296 hp due to stricter emissions regulations. Seeing the glass half full, torque is unchanged, at 295 lb-ft (400 Nm).

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