The journey

How do you transport the all-new BMW X5 from the factory in South Carolina to the stage of the LA auto show? You drive.

While every other car maker transports their brand-new models to auto shows in carriers, we took a different route and drove the all-new BMW X5 for nearly 3,000 miles across 11 states, taking as few detours as possible. The 10-day journey started at the BMW’s factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and headed west directly to the LA Auto Show. When we finally got there, BMW’s CEO, Bernhard Kuhnt, drove the dirty vehicle onto the stage—a move that surprised an audience used to seeing only the shiniest cars.

During the trip we challenged the X5 with all sorts of obstacles and real events, including an unexpected way to cross the Mississippi River, a real-life demolition derby in Tennessee, cornfields, ranches, public events and a high school football game in Texas. To ensure the authenticity of the journey, we captured every scene in real locations found along the way, including all the people and animals shown. No actors were ever cast. The result is the ultimate portrait of the X5’s capabilities and a beautiful picture of America’s heartland.