As the dust settles on the sun-scorched dunes of the Californian and Nevadan deserts, BMW's X2 M35i emerges as a rebel with a cause, snagging a formidable second place in the grueling Rebelle Rally. The X-Cross class, a battlefield for the stock warriors of the automotive realm, witnessed the 2024 pre-production series BMW X2 M35i not only survive but thrive in the harshest of elements - without a whisper of GPS or the guiding hand of modern tech.
The X2's tale began at BMW of North America’s Test Fest - an epic congregation of over 100 cars, where it stood apart as a pre-production gladiator ready to take on the world's longest off-road competition in the United States. The Rebelle Rally is the ultimate test of stock vehicular endurance, sprawling over 1,500 miles where the only upgrades allowed are those that toughen up the car for the punishing rally ahead.
Navigating without GPS or phones, teams relied on the old-school trinity of maps, compasses, and roadbooks. The BMW X2 M35i, fielded by Team #205, Rebecca Donaghe and Sedona Blinson, dubbed Wild Grace 8.0, faced the unforgiving terrain with a slew of enhancements including Falken Wildpeak AT Trail Tires, Rotiform ZMO-M Wheels, and custom off-road protection - yet its 312 horsepower B48 2.0-liter TwinTurbo engine remained untouched, delivering unaltered thrills and a 0-60 mph sprint in a swift 5.2 seconds.
It was a nail-biting finish with the BMW nipping at the heels of the victors, the Ford Bronco Sport driven by Team #200. The X2 M35i’s 72% point haul placed it squarely in second, leaving the competition in a cloud of desert dust and the 2024 Kia Telluride X-Pro trailing close behind for third.
The Rebelle Rally also celebrated the electrifying victory of a fully electric vehicle for the first time - an emphatic nod to the green fuel trend and the capabilities of the everyday car. Meanwhile, the Rookie of the Year accolades went to teams bold enough to tackle the unforgiving rally with fresh fervor.
The BIMMERIST community will be thrilled to know that this rally-bred X2 M35i will hit the dealerships in early 2024, with a starting MSRP of $51,400. This success at the Rebelle Rally is not just a testament to the X2's robust engineering but also to the indomitable spirit of adventure that BMW infuses into each of its creations. The BMW X2 M35i has proven that it is not just any crossover - it's a trailblazer that's as much at home on the challenging rally tracks as it is on the city streets.
With registrations for the 2024 Rebelle Rally already underway, the question on everyone's mind is simple: What will BMW bring to the starting line next year? For now, though, the X2 M35i deserves its moment in the desert sun - a rebel, a warrior, and now, a champion.