It's nice to see that someone at BMW apparently has a wry sense of humor when it comes to the X5 M. We are not shy about admitting that we find it hard to take the 550-horsepower SUV seriously – we famously called it a "2.7-ton Miata with a lampshade on its head and a serious coke habit," when we reviewed it back in 2010. But this little 30-second spot pairing it with the M3 has us tickled with nostalgic memories of the 1996 CART finale at Laguna Seca.

Sixteen years ago, there was no Mazda in the storied track's name, just a heck of a battle through all 11 turns of the final lap of the season. Rookie-of-the-year Alex Zanardi made one of the historic racing moves, passing Bryan Herta on the inside of the downhill "Corkscrew" turn, running through the dirt to make the lead change stick.

If you're wondering what this might have to do with the X5 M, click through the jump to see both the BMW ad and the vintage CART footage.






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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      Carzzz
      • 2 Years Ago
      i miss CART!
      ThomasP
      • 2 Years Ago
      Whoa there Autoblog, no need to toot your own horn. Just because (you) said something funny once, I wouldn't call it famous. Perhaps if you gave credit to Jonny for the quip the claim would come off a little less self serving..?
      bigace
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ha! I did the same thing the first time I drove Laguna! Nice to see someone remembers that Zanardi pass.
      snap_understeer_ftw
      • 2 Years Ago
      I remember when Valentino Rossi made a pass there on Casey Stoner in 2008 if you think passing there in a car is impressive, you'll be blown away to see the Doctor put a move on the Aussie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfPM77TsGaA nobody else could make that stick
      Travisty
      • 2 Years Ago
      To me that says more about the inadequacies of the M3 than anything positive about the X5.... (And yes, I'm aware that the M3 would *demolish* the X5 M around the full track, even if the X5 could take certain "shortcuts")
        jonnybimmer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Travisty
        Might have been better if it was compared to something like a C63 or a CTS-V. Would it make sense? No, but then again neither does implying it's faster around a track than an M3. At least that way BMW doesn't shoot down one of its own products.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Travisty
        [blocked]
      Narom
      • 2 Years Ago
      You'd never get away with a pass like that now.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Narom
        [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          Narom
          • 2 Years Ago
          I wish it were allowed though, if you are brave enough to do something like that it should be allowed to stick. In F1 you'd have to give that place back.
      SloopJohnB
      • 2 Years Ago
      I thought the 96 zanardi move should have been ruled illegal then and I do now.
      Autoblogist
      • 2 Years Ago
      Weak. My enthusiasm for "M" products has fallen off considerable, since BMW insists on whoring out the badge on almost everything under the brand and still we cant't even get an M7.
      budwsr25
      • 2 Years Ago
      The BMW ad was not very good. They should have went in car and kept it there. Instead it looked like the M3 stopped and let the X5 just do it thing. Zanardi is one of the best! Would like to see him step into a co-owership role or even maybe a team manager.
      Schumiii
      • 2 Years Ago
      I am not sure how you guys see it on the other side of the pond but the Zanardi move is cheating, FULLSTOP. F1 rules would have black flagged Zanardi instantly. Now I can see why BMW released the video because they are politely showing that the manouvere was like having two different cars from two different series with two different rules racing each other on the same track. Pointless.
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