After speaking with BMW M CEO Frank van Meel, about the all-new BMW XM Concept, we decided to talk to BMW M’s head of design, Marcus Syring.

Being the head of design, Syring points out certain aspects of the design most enthusiasts won’t notice. For instance, the very flat top of the windshield and the upright A-pillars give the XM a very upright, proud, and expressive design. Whether you like it or not, those are the themes BMW M was working with when designing the XM.

He also talks about the split headlight design, a point of much debate among BMW fans. Never has a production BMW product had such headlights, so splitting them apart is causing controversy among enthusiast. Having said that, BMW M put the lower portion of the headlights behind dark tinted glass, so they’re almost nonexistent when off, which is neat.

Out back, the rear window is seamlessly integrated into the body work, similar to how a screen is integrated into a smartphone. That gives it a clean, sleek design that’s more modern and minimalist than what you’ll find on most other cars. The roof of the car, where it meets the tailgate, features a unique design in which the sides are taller than the middle. That not only creates an interesting new proportion but improves aerodynamics.

Inside, Syring talks about the duality of the interior. The front is obviously designed to be sportier, with a more cocoon-like cockpit, while the rear seat is designed to be more of a luxurious lounge. The front’s stunning vintage leather gives it a unique look and feel to all other BMW models and makes the XM Concept stand out. I’m not sure if that leather — a focal point of BMW’s during the XM Concept’s reveal — will make it to production but I certainly hope so.

If you want to learn more about the design of the BMW XM Concept, check out this new video of our interview with BMW M head of design Marcus Syring.