The current BMW X5 is an impressive car. It may be called an SAV but it’s regarded as an SUV and familiar to people everywhere as a Bavarian product.
Spin the clock back a few years and you’ll remember it’s not the same story. The world would for the first time see the BMW X5, E53.
The instant appeal was easily noticeable, this is where you’d need to stand out by appealing to a tuning specialist like AC Schnitzer.
They’d provide quite the upgrade to the performance of the 3.0 liter turbocharged diesel engine, refine the exterior, interior and even the suspension.
The engine’s power goes up from 218 to 253 horsepower and the torque figure jumps from 500 Nm to 550. Back then the petrol power was deemed as having enough.
What wasn’t enough was the suspension. BMW had made the first SUV that felt like driving a car but offered the high riding position.
With standard trim however, the car was relatively rigid. AC Schnitzer had managed to keep the driving feel but make for decent comfort as well.
Inside, the changes of the AC Schnitzer BMW X5 E53 were quite modest but featured the most interesting material of the time, carbon fiber.
Naturally, there was a choice of wheels available and they were all enormous. In order to compensate for the lack of flexibility, the tires had been upgraded to Michelin ones.
It’s a nice ride down memory lane, hopefully AC Schnitzer enthusiasts remember where they got their first individual X5 kits.