BMW M3 vs. X5 M

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.