BMW has taken the new X3 in the sporty M40i specification to Mars for a 360-degree virtual test drive experience with the SAV tackling the Red Planet. It goes without saying it would not work in real life since a combustion engine needs oxygen to work, a whopping 60,000 liters of air each minute in the case of the mighty Bugatti Chiron and its quad-turbo W16 engine.
Since the M40i has a gasoline-fed turbocharged 3.0-liter engine, it would be rendered useless on the surface of Mars. That being said, a future version of the X3 could hypothetically become a Mars rover considering an all-electric version has already been confirmed for a launch in 2020.
Getting back to the ad at hand, it's a neat way to promote the new SUV in its highest specification available today, with an inline-six rated at 355 horsepower and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) of torque. It will lose its range-topping status sooner or later as a first-ever X3 M is in the works as evidenced by a recent batch of spy shots from the Nürburgring.
Maybe BMW could decide to turn this immersive promo clip into a playable video game using the car customized beforehand in the company's online configurator. That would definitely please the video game crowd and could consequently lure in additional younger buyers.
Meanwhile, the rivals at Audi are actually sending a vehicle into outer space, though on the Moon instead of Mars. A pair of Audi Lunar Quattro rovers will travel for 385,000 kilometers (about 239,000 miles) and head to the Moon by the end of this year for a chance to win the $30-million Google Lunar XPRIZE and also to test the components in extreme conditions.