A Country Club Suv From Bimmer

The elan of a sport sedan and real off-road credentials

The BMW races through Turn 5 at the Road Atlanta track, a wicked left hook at the end of a series of S-curves. It hugs the road with assurance. I ease my sweaty grip on the steering wheel and prepare for the next treacherous curve. That's when I remember I'm not in a sporty 540i sedan, but in something that gives every appearance of being a sport-utility vehicle. In fact, it's the same BMW X5 in which, a few hours earlier, I was slithering down the red-clay banks of creek beds and jolting along heavily rutted tracks where no self-respecting Bimmer would dare to trek.

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