BMW will build a new vehicle at the Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, according to CNBC with the BMW CEO Oliver Zipse. “At the end of the year, we will make an announcement to build another high-end car from this manufacturing site,” Zipse told CNBC’s Phil LeBeau. “It is not a successor model, it’s a brand-new model, high-end for the American market but also for the world market.”

Zipse won’t commit to the actual product name, but we strongly believe that this is the new BMW X8 M or XM, along with its variants. Our own sources mentioned last year a new product being actively testing on the factory grounds. And since, we’ve seen the powerful and likely the most expensive BMW SUV ever build being tested in other countries as well. The Spartanburg plant currently produces the BMW X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 as well as the corresponding M SUV models, so it’s only natural that the production line is expanded to include the X8 as well.

bmw xm renderings 03 830x830
Rendering by @magnus.concepts on Instagram

But as Oliver Zipse says, this won’t be your regular BMW SUV. It will be a brand-new model, a flagship of the ever growing BMW crossover lineup and likely the most powerful one ever. The BMW X8 M rumors started sometimes in 2019, but they amplified last year after test mules were spotted in Germany. There is still plenty of mystery surrounding the X8 M, for example, its name. Some recent rumors point to the XM badge on the boot which certainly makes sense considering the iX naming convention on the upcoming electric crossover.

The internal name is said to be “Project Rockstar” which clearly implies the baddest and most powerful SUV of the range. We strongly believe that the X8 M (XM) will be a plug-in hybrid vehicle. We’ve already heard rumors of a PHEV drivetrain in the X8 M and the sticker on the side door confirms that at least this test mule is using some electric power under its sheet metal.

The rumormill further churns out that the future BMW X8 M/ XM models could come in two flavors: the standard version, with an output of 460 kW / 625 PS (617 hp), and the upper-end X8 M Competition, which is set to become the first electrified full M model in history. The future X8 M Competition will pack a hybrid powertrain combining a V8 petrol engine and an electric unit that together will raise the peak output up to staggering 552 kW / 750 PS (740 hp).

[Renderings by @magnus.concepts on Instagram]