The Christmas catalog of the American department store chain Neiman Marcus is not only known to everyone in the USA. The winter of 1999 lured in with a real gem in the then $6.50 Christmas catalogue: the BMW X5 Neiman Marcus Edition, costing $57,995, it was one of the most expensive items that inclined customers could order as a Christmas present at the time. Included in the sale price: a two-day driver training course at the Spartanburg / South Carolina production site with a drive in the winding Blue Ridge Mountains and a $1,000 donation to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Delivery in May 2000 and therefore as a 2001 model. Apart from a few official and less-official one-offs from M GmbH, the Neiman Marcus is likely to be the most exclusive BMW X5 you can get - not just in the United States. We have driven a few hundred miles in one of the 50 vehicles and can only congratulate the buyers at the time.
Because what it felt like more than 20 years ago to drive a new BMW X5 with the chic Impala Brown Metallic finish can still be felt today; the subject does not even have 400 miles on the counter. At that time, the X5 Neiman Marcus was the most exclusive thing you could order off the short shelf if you didn't want to order a one-off from M GmbH's exclusive manufacturer. Powered by the naturally aspirated M62 4.4-liter V8 engine, which is still gorgeous today, the crossover is a real show on the streets of Florida without really attracting attention. Now and then someone looks over at the brown 4x4 beau from a cabriolet or a pick-up with a touch of appreciation, probably only acknowledging that it looks new. The obligatory standard equipment was the measure of all things, inside and out, because the Neiman Marcus offered, in addition to the unusual paintwork, xenon headlights, ten-speaker sound system, parking sensors, elegant 19-inch wheels, level air, heated leather seats in front and behind, fully electric comfort armchairs in front , tinted windows and a navigation system with a cute little screen - back then, especially in the USA, it was a real show. Navigation, of course, in conjunction with a cassette radio of what was then the latest generation.
If it's a BMW X5, then an eight-cylinder – that's as true today as it was then. The magnificent engine delivers 210 kW / 286 hp and a maximum torque of 440 Nm at 3,800 rpm. This means that almost 220 km/h are possible - in the USA, however, only a dream in the technical data. Even by today's standards, the comfortable luxury all-wheel drive vehicle is an excellent cruiser, which is also sporty and at that time only had the Porsche Cayenne as a dynamic competitor. Jeep Grand Cherokee, Range Rover or Mercedes ML had similar engines, but were decidedly more comfortable. Starting from Key Biskayne, the peninsula in front of Miami, it first goes north over the turbulent Interstate 95. Once the large agglomerations such as Miami Gardens, Hollywood or Fort Lauderdale are behind, the coastal road calls past Boca Raton, West Palm Beach or Jupiter to Vero Beach. In the noble areas, the BMW X5 Neiman Marcus felt just as comfortable back then as it does today, since the sales catalogs have long since been replaced by the large online shops, and not just at Christmas.
Then as now, the five-stage automatic transmission was a glamor cast that is second to none, while the sonorous humming eight-cylinder engine doesn't give one any thought of the supercharged six-cylinder engine of modern times. This BMW X5 needed an eight-cylinder and that was the only way it fit into the chic Christmas catalogue, which for decades had been more of an image brochure than a real sales catalogue.
Anyone who searches the used car market will find countless BMW X5s of the first generation E53, of which almost 470,000 vehicles were produced, in good condition both in the USA and in Europe. However, finding one of the only 50 Neiman Marcus is almost impossible. Last summer, one of the rare pieces in the charismatic impala brown was sold on the global car portal "Bring a Trailer" - with a mileage of a narrow 31,000 miles, it brought in a mere 22,750 US dollars - a lot of exclusivity for little money. Maybe the off-the-shelf one will do, for example the BMW X5 4.6. He lured with real M genes and a 347 hp strong. V8