Last year’s Concept XM signaled the BMW M’s intentions toward futureproofing its lineup in light of stricter emissions regulations by embracing electrification. A plug-in hybrid performance model has already been revealed, taking the shape of the 2023 M760e. The fullsize luxury sedan combines an inline-six engine with an electric motor, but it’s only a matter of time before the big V8 will form the basis of a PHEV.
Arriving in production guise before the end of 2022, the road-going XM is currently being evaluated at the Nürburgring where the large SUV is undergoing final testing. Even though it’s still fully covered in camouflage, it looks as though the final variant won’t stray away too far from the 2021 showcar. Already confirmed to be the heaviest model BMW will ever make, the XM dominates the public roads that lead to the Nordschleife.
Seeing such a huge vehicle being pushed hard around the Green Hell still takes some time to get used to, and it’s understandable why some enthusiasts are concerned about how sporty the XM is going to be. Will the 750 horsepower compensate for the vehicle’s bulk? What about the 1,000 Nm (737 pound-feet) of torque? That’s how much punch the Concept XM had, and we’re expecting similar if not identical output figures from the production model.
Some were quick to criticize BMW M for launching yet another SUV in 2022 when the performance division marks its 50th anniversary. However, recent reports state an M4 CSL-based 3.0 CSL will serve as the true highlight of the milestone, which should make it easier for fans to accept the XM. Then again, being touted as a dedicated M car, and just the second one after the iconic M1, it means the behemoth has some big shoes to fill.
It will hold the title for the most powerful BMW ever built, but numbers aren’t everything. It remains to be seen how the engineers will be able to negate the weight and high center of gravity to give the feeling of a true performance machine rather than that of an amped-up SUV.
Source: Automotive Mike / YouTube