A vehicle this large doesn’t exude sportiness but trust BMW to beat the odds and put the S in SUV. We’re obviously talking about the XM as the first dedicated M model in a long time. It’s a complete departure from the M1 and is coming as the crown jewel of an already expansive X lineup. Before its official premiere later in 2022, the plug-in hybrid behemoth has been spotted testing.

In fact, a whole fleet of XM prototypes is noticeable in the adjacent spy video shot near the Arctic Circle. One of BMW’s test drivers sure is having fun by doing an impressive four-wheel power slide on the icy roads covered in snow. These prototypes are all fully camouflaged, but lest we forget the Concept XM was revealed many months ago with its wild styling.

Despite the chunky disguise, we are getting the impression Bavaria’s flagship SUV won’t stray away too far from the showcar. From the split headlights to the stacked exhaust tips, the XM will basically look like no other BMW before it. The overly angular styling of the concept might be toned down a bit, but you’ll immediately be able to tell it’s not an X7.

The XM Will Celebrate M’s Golden Jubilee

Likely to be one of the heaviest BMW models ever, the 2023 XM will dethrone the M5 CS as the firm’s most powerful production model. With a V8 and an electric motor making 750 hp, the SUV is going to pack quite the punch. It’s rumored to usher in the S68 engine, which is believed to be the final V8 from the beloved brand.

Enthusiasts would’ve wanted a lightweight mid-engined supercar to mark 50 years of M, but BMW has bigger fish to fry. It goes without saying the S68 will be adopted by other big performance cars, including the M5 PHEV arriving in 2024 with well over 700 hp.

This spy video is a reminder of how the automotive landscape is changing in light of more stringent emissions regulations. Performance cars are here to stay, but with electrification baked in until the ultimate demise of the ICE.

Source: CarSpyMedia / YouTube