If we were to go by what people are saying on the internet, the BMW XM is off to a slow start. Many have been quick to criticize the plug-in hybrid SUV for its eccentric design, hefty price tag, and the simple fact it’s yet another SUV. Only time will tell whether the Munich-based marque made the right decisions with its first dedicated M model in decades.

In the meantime, a new video is showing how a vehicle that weighs a little over 2,700 kilograms (almost 6,000 pounds) can be seriously quick in an acceleration test from 0 to 135 mph (218 km/h). The French journalists at Motorsport Magazine had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of an XM painted in Marina Bay Blue and equipped with massive 23-inch wheels.

Although the sprint wasn’t timed, it’s easy to see the XM is properly quick, especially for such a large and heavy vehicle. Mind you, this is the regular version rather than the more powerful Label Red showcased these days at Auto Shanghai 2023 in China. It “only” has a combined output of 644 horsepower and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) of torque from its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine and electric motor.

As impressive as the acceleration might be, let’s keep in mind the 2024 X5 M Competition is still quicker and costs a lot less. The XM is not necessarily for people who want maximum performance – although it should be given its status as a bespoke M model – since it was created for customers who want to stand out. BMW believes 26% of buyers will be from the United States and 23% from China, so just these two countries are projected to eat up half of the polarizing SUV’s market share.

The brawny SUV is certainly not the mid-engined M1 successor enthusiasts had hoped, but BMW explained it all came down to what most buyers want: “Customers around the world today are looking for SAVs/SUVs that deliver practicality and high performance in one luxurious package.” – according to Sarah Lessmann, Product Manager at BMW M GmbH.

Source: Motorsport Magazine / YouTube