• Sep 3rd 2010 at 12:00PM
  • 39
BMW M5 prototype gets towed home – Click above for high-res image gallery

Occasionally, we find ourselves wondering why manufacturers continue to insist on testing their prototype vehicles at the infamous Nürburgring. Yes, the track is 13 miles of some of the most abusive variations in elevation and apex around, but it's also flooded with legions of hungry spy photographers just waiting to publicize the carmakers' latest efforts. You'd think they'd come up with a locale with a smidge more privacy.

But the truth is that the Nürburgring offers a unique combination of length, speed and legality that's difficult to come across elsewhere in the world. Those three factors combine to allow engineers to push vehicles well past what the common buyer will ever experience, and sometimes, that means pushing a vehicle all the way to mechanical failure. We aren't exactly sure what caused this particular BMW M5 mule to go lame, but we're guessing that the testing was well worth what was bound to be the mountain of paperwork facing these guys when they get back to the office.

At least the X5 seems to be up to the task of pulling its sportier brother around.

[Source: CarPix]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wonder why they are not using the current M5
        • 5 Years Ago
        X5 M ? towing


        If the more rugged version doesn't two a thing.. whats makes you think the more delicate performance version will ?

      • 5 Years Ago
      BMW should try to set a record with that X5 towing the M5. Well, at the very least they'd establish it, since I don't think there's any tow records on the 'Ring.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Beat me to it. Just imagine those turns...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Now that would be interesting. Just, you know, with a cheaper car on the trailer, I bet BMW's engineers want their prototype back.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I smell a new Top Gear ridiculous Motorsport event (to follow the lead of RVs, buses, and airport vehicles)
      • 5 Years Ago
      How many of these spy shots are actually leaks for viral marketing?
      • 5 Years Ago
      You guys forgot the most important part of the story!

      What was the X5's ring time?
        • 5 Years Ago
        With the trailer ofcouse! I need to know!
      • 5 Years Ago
      There is a certain level of awesomeness about the 4.6Si X5 with a trailer, with an M5 (whatever teh case maybe) on it, on the 'Ring.

      I mean, they could have used anything, a truck, but they have this old, rare, X5 that's probably been a BMW test mule and has about 20k miles on it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, it is pretty awesome. Not sure where you are geographically but there seem to be a lot of the 4.6is models in my area (I used to have one so I always noticed)

        The 4.8is is the one I don't see a lot of even now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Caption contest anybody?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "I can't shake him! It's like he's on my back bumper!"
      • 5 Years Ago
      It saw the commercial for the CTS-V and gave up on life.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A million bucks says they over-boosted and fried the engine trying to match the CTS-V specs. and performance.
        • 5 Years Ago
        hahaha, it doesn't matter, the CTS-V doesn't sell.
        we have taxes on displacement, GM spend money on something made for europe, but apparently they didnd't investigate enough.

        americans cars are known for huge consume.
        americans cars aren't known for quality.
        americans cars aren't known for styling.
        americans cars aren't known for handling.
        many obstacles for GM to overcome.
        i read some european forums, most people opt for the classic choices.
        so would i.
        the chevolets (daewoo's) that are for sale here are ugly and bought by people that don't care about cars.

        the only 'recent' Cadilac i have seen in europe is the Cadillac Seville.
        so much for the new standart.

        900hp golf

        some german boy and his golf:
        VW Polo 1.8 16V Turbo AME Racing 1047 bhp at 9000 rpm

        bmw certainly has no trouble getting skyrocket hp from their engines.
        like already told before in this topic, europe charges taxes on weight, power and or displacement and so do insurance.
        all cars made in europe are made to fit in certain tax tables and not about how big is my c*ck tables.

        GM can't even achieve 500hp without a charger.

        • 5 Years Ago
        This is a joke right? Every CTS-V GM builds is sold almost immediately. The new M uses a supercharged V8 just like the CTS-V and makes less power. If you can't beat them, join them... and still get beat apparently.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Do Europeans totally miss the value of what the USA has in its pickup trucks?
      They need a big ol' duallie diesel something or other pulling that poor little bimmer. :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        Gee...what a suprise....a broken down BMW!

        In my travels, there is no car that I see either being towed, or on the side of the road more than BMW's. They are the current king of breakdowns these days.

        It used to be Hyundais and VW's, but they have been dethroned because of the slew of problems such as fuel pumps and transmissions on the BMW's.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I've noticed that Europeans are a bit more sensible about what they use as tow rigs. You generally won't see them using a 1-ton Super Duty pickup to tow a (relatively) lightweight camper ("caravan") that most compact and midsize cars can safely tow.

        I've had friends "justify" the purchase of a large pickup to tow items like jet skis and atvs - and that's fine if that's how they want to spend their money. Fuel is considerably cheaper here in the US, so it's easier for us to buy a vehicle with considerably more towing/hauling capacity than we'll ever need.

        The folks across the pond have a lot more to lose in their wallets (fuel economy, taxes based on engine hp/displacement, etc) so it makes sense that they buy a vehicle more closely matched to their towing needs.

        With that said, I probably wouldn't have a problem with using the X5 as a towing machine, so long as it's properly equipped and has sufficient capacity to safely tow the load. It's kinda nice seeing an SUV 'working' for a change, isn't it?
        • 5 Years Ago
        An Omen of things to come... I'll keep my CTS-V. It's American... it's Reliable. It's Gorgeous. It's a Cadillac.

        Between BMW and Land Rover I am constantly bewildered at the reason why Americans buy these vehicles. We must have a serious desire to keep Roadside Assistance relevant.
        • 5 Years Ago
        How are we so sure they're not just testing a new X5 Mule's towing ability at very very high speeds? Just Sayin.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Let's see ... I could be watching General Hospital; or reading the stupid rants here. I think most comments here are aided by the euphoria from over active adrenal glands after they took their Cavalier out since adding the turbonator.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What are you talking about?
      • 5 Years Ago
      they were actually testing the new M trailer
      • 5 Years Ago
      Must be rough on a car trying to beat the CTS-V's time.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Its gonna take alot to outright destroy the cts-v . .

        idc about the brand.. but 550hp and 0-60 in 3.9 ?

        gosh im surprised no one has killed them self yet
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