Race tracks are usually filled with lightweight and small sports cars, but the BMW XM is neither. An electrified mastodont, the plug-in hybrid SUV has to be one of the heaviest prototypes to ever lap the Nürburgring. Despite being shown as a near-production concept last year, the first dedicated M car in decades is still heavily camouflaged.
All the camo in the world can’t hide its imposing size as the XM looks absolutely massive. Rather than celebrating 50 years of M with a follow-up to the Vision M Next concept, BMW has taken the SUV route. As previewed by the Concept XM, it won’t look like any other X model before it. With overly angular styling, split headlights, and stacked exhaust tips, the XM will stand out from Bavaria’s crop of SUVs.
It does look pretty fast for what it is, attempting to defy physics much like the X5 M and X6 M Competition models. With 750 horsepower on tap, the XM should be even faster than those high-performance SUVs. Being an M car from day one rather than a hot version of an existing model means it has some big shoes to fill. It’s especially true since the sporty luxobarge follows the iconic M1.
The XM Will Likely Have BMW’s Final V8 Engine
The soundtrack is provided by BMW’s recently introduced S68, a mild-hybrid 4.4-liter twin-turbo launched with the X7 facelift. If the concept is any indication, it’ll work together with an electric motor to unlock a total torque of 737 pound-feet (1,000 Newton-meters). The massive output will partially compensate for the added bulk, but don’t expect M2 levels of driving dynamics.
BMW has been tight-lipped about the battery pack’s size, only saying the XM is going to cover approximately 30 miles (EPA) without sipping any gasoline. A silent M car will take some time to get used to, and it goes without saying many more will follow. In fact, the next-gen M5 has already been spotted as a PHEV.
When the Spartanburg-built XM arrives late this year, it’s going to cost a pretty penny. Logic tells us it will command a significant premium over the 2023 X7 M60i available from $103,100. With the i8 gone, it’ll easily become the most expensive BMW, possibly topping the ALPINA XB7 as well.
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