The highly anticipated 101st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb left spectators on the edge of their seats, but for BMW it was all for the wrong reasons. The German automotive giant aimed to topple the reigning SUV champion, the Lamborghini Urus Performante, with its high-performance XM Label Red. Unfortunately it was the shortest Pikes peak run ever made for the XM. The XM driver lost control and crashed the big SUV in the first turn. The driver managed to walk away unhurt, but the SUV received heavy damage.
What went wrong?
Matt Mullins, the driver of the XM Label Red, started the race shakily (watch the 4:21:14 mark of the video provided below). On the first turn, he lost control of his machine, hinting at what would happen next. Around 20 minutes later, the announcers said that Mullins had a crash. The XM had big damage at the front and broken back glass. A flatbed truck then took it away.
The Advantage of an electric powertrain at high altitude
Interestingly, BMW’s electrified powerhouse could have been the secret weapon in this altitude-challenged race. Unaffected by altitude, the XM’s 194 hp electric motor would have offered consistent power throughout the climb. Yet, despite this potential edge, perhaps it was not the best handling SUV as Matt, who was driving the SUV at this event, had to struggle continuously to keep the SUV in control.
According to the Motor 1 reports, BMW responded to the unfortunate incident, stating, “Our hopes for a record run with the BMW XM today ended with a race incident. Driver Matt Mullins is disappointed but unhurt. The focus now is on repairing the vehicle and planning for another record attempt later this summer.” As to the exact cause of the accident, BMW has yet to comment, leaving the industry and fans in suspense. Walk of shame for BMW on that one…
The Urus Performante still remains undefeated even after a year!
Meanwhile, the Lamborghini Urus Performante remains the undisputed champion of the hill with its record in 2022 with an impressive 10:32.06 seconds time. Its non-electrified 666-horsepower engine zipped up the 12.4-mile stage all the way to the 14,115-foot altitude finish line.
Pikes Peak Dangers
The 101st Pikes Peak event concluded with many thrilling moments and record-breaking performances under ideal weather conditions. As for BMW, the climb was a stark reminder of the mountain’s unpredictable nature, a lesson that will undoubtedly fuel their determination for future battles.
Check out below some of the most amazing pikes peak crashes, including the very famous Mistubishi Evo fall that made dozen of flips down the canyon, while the driver was able to survive thanks to the unbelievable roll cage capability, so amazing, a must-watch:
BMW unleashed the XM in September 2022. The powerhouse of an SUV produces a staggering 738 hp (550 kW) and 738 lb-ft (997 Nm) of torque, courtesy of a twin-turbocharged V8 and an electric motor, the XM represented a force to be reckoned with. It was clear BMW had one aim: to conquer Pikes Peak faster than the Urus Performante.
In case you missed it – 2023 Pikes peak event coverage