For many drivers, the Monza circuit in Italy is among the best in the world, home to some of the fastest speeds ever clocked in an F1 car and an integral part of F1 and many other racing series' calendar. For BMW Italy, however, that wasn’t enough.
To show off the abilities of the new BMW X5, its Italian distributor went about building a 1:1 scale replica of the famous track in the sands of the Sahara Desert in Merzouga, Morocco. The team surveyed the sight for 4 days. The track itself took more than 50 people (composed of engineers, surveyors, technicians, workers and pilots), 4 bulldozers, 4 trucks, 2 graders and 2 compactors to build over 9 days, much of it in high winds and stormy weather. After all was said and done, over 3,500 cubic meters or earth had been moved.
The result is a 5,793 meter faithful reproduction of all of the track’s 11 corners, straights, and chicanes, right down to the radius and curvature of the turns. The team faithfully recreated iconic sections like Lesmo, Ascari and Parabolica. Lining the corners are flat stones painted in red and white to simulate curbing and the occasional tire wall. It also has a pit lane and paddock made of tents.
Taking on the course was the new BMW X5 with the xOffroad package, escorted to the track by the new BMW R 1250 GS. The X5 comes with standard features like Dynamic Damper Control with optional ones like the Adaptive M Professional air suspension with active anti-roll stabilization and Integral Active Steering.
The xOffroad package features a specific button to give the driver a choice of four off-road driving modes — xSand, xRocks, xGravel, xSnow — which automatically determine the ideal vehicle height settings, xDrive system, acceleration response and transmission control, and corrective inputs of the DSC system for each.
The video itself features the X5 driving through the desert track intercut with scenes of the car driving on the original tarmac Monza to show that it is quite capable in both environments.