With its official reveal fast approaching, it means the XM has entered the final stages of testing. Even so, some of us are still wrapping our heads around the idea of a dedicated M car in an SUV format. It also happens to be the heaviest vehicle BMW will ever make, which sounds counter-intuitive since everyone knows weight is the enemy of performance.
Ahead of its late 2022 premiere, the XM has been caught looking large and in charge at the Nürburgring during some high-speed testing. Eagle-eyed readers will notice the spy video features more than just one prototype, and all of them were being pushed hard on the challenging Green Hell. There seems to be a tad tinner disguise than before, thus giving us a glimpse of the controversial split headlights similar to some degree to those of the new 7 Series / i7 and X7 facelift.
Despite the camouflage, it’s easy to see the 2023 XM production model will remain faithful to last year’s Concept XM. BMW has already said the final version will retain more than 90% of the concept’s design, for better or for worse. Bavaria’s flagship SUV will stand out from the current crop of X models thanks to a swoopy shape, stacked exhaust tips, and a kidney grille likely visible from the moon.
Polarizing design aside, the XM is a taste of things to come regarding how BMW M plans to electrify its portfolio. It will be the first plug-in hybrid from the brand to combine a V8 engine with an electric motor, thus complementing the M760e and its smaller inline-six mill. The PHEV powertrain will have to move around 2,700 kilograms (nearly 6,000 pounds) with its 650 horsepower. Come 2023, a more potent 750-hp configuration will hit the market, possibly with around 1,000 Netwon-meters (738 pound-feet) of torque to echo the Concept XM.
While the mid-engined M1 coupe was built in fewer than 400 examples, the XM will become a permanent member of the BMW lineup. With some options included, a price tag of around $150,000 seems plausible. It’s a lot of money for most people, but let’s keep in mind a Lamborghini Urus starts at about $230,000. We’ll have to wait and see which of the two will be the better performance SUV, a genre about to expand to include the even more expensive Ferrari Purosangue.
Source: CarSpyMedia / YouTube