Monza Race Circuit Replica is a BMW Desert Oasis

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To help market the new X5, BMW built a full-scale replica of the race track in the Sahara desert because why not?

Once you think about it, it’s a brilliant way to show off both the BMW X5’s sporting ability as well as its capability to get off the tarmac and onto a loose, rough, surface. We suspect that someone suggested this in a meeting, then there was a long silence as gears turned in heads before everyone started laughing at the simple genius of the idea. Of course, BMW doesn’t miss a trick so they also released a gorgeous video on YouTube of the process to build the track, which includes painted curbs as well as every straight a curve laid out in Monza’s exact configuration and scale.

We’ve seen this done a few times in snow and ice where it’s a relatively simple, yet large scale, job to mark out the track and bring in a snow plow. Here though, they had to bring in diggers, bring down the rocks for the curbs and paint them, build the tire walls, and all the while battling sand-storms. According to BMW’s press release, It took a team of 50 people, including engineers, surveyors, technicians, workers, and pilots, to complete the project.

BMW X5 on a Full-size Recreation of Monza in the Desert.

4 days of that was spent surveying and designing the track, then nine days for four bulldozers and four trucks to remove the soil and prepare the ground. In total, the team moved 3,500 cubic meters of earth for the project. We assume that the last day was enjoying the result of their toils. Also according to the press release, the BMW drove across Europe to reach Morocco in stages, and its performance on the track is helped by the new xOffroad package for the X5.

The result is spectacular. The X5 eats up Desert Monza and spits the resulting dust and sand out behind it as Giorgio Poerello, a BMW Driving Experience instructor, drops the hammer and shows what the new X5 can do. Thankfully, as well as the video, BMW dropped a bunch of stunning pictures of the vehicle in action as well.

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Ian Wright has been a professional writer for two years and is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum, Jaguar Forum, and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

His obsession with cars started young and has left him stranded miles off-road in Land Rovers, being lost far from home in hot hatches, going sideways in rallycross cars, being propelled forward in supercars and, more sensibly, standing in fields staring at classic cars. His first job was as a mechanic and then trained as a driving instructor before going into media production.

The automotive itch never left though, and he realized writing about cars is his true calling. However, that doesn’t stop him from also hosting the Both Hand Drive podcast.

Ian can be reached at [email protected]

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