The BMW E53 X5 was a game changer. Back in 1999, it suddenly ripped up the rule book and made it perfectly normal to drive around a city or town with a 4×4. And that’s exactly what people did. It became the Chelsea Tractor before Range Rover really took over. But while Range Rovers are capable off-road, the X5 was slightly disappointing.
So what does it take for an X5 to become a capable off-roader? AcademeG YouTube channel bought one and went about making changes so they could find out.
First of all, the Russians removed the roof in a less than tidy fashion. The glass and airbags were then removed and finally, the interior was stripped of anything unnecessary. Then the real fun began. A roll-cage was used to not only provide some form of safety, but to give back the rigidity which was removed along with the roof. Then the SUV was lifted and widened with some fat wheels and tyres which were stuffed underneath the battered arches.
Of course, the project needed a proper shake down in the form of a lot of mud, plenty of water, and some good old Russian driving!