It would seem BMW has had a change of heart as the M Award for the fastest MotoGP qualifier during the 2023 season is no longer the M2 G87. Although the second-generation sports coupe in Zandvoort Blue was announced as the prize back in November 2022, it’s being replaced by the XM. This is the 25th season for BMW M as the “Official Car of MotoGP” at the end of which M will hand out another car.
The XM in question is not the regular version but rather the Label Red. Introduced earlier this month at Auto Shanghai in 2023, the plug-in hybrid SUV is BMW’s most powerful production car to date. Aside from the red accents reserved for the range-topping model, it also gets a Frozen Carbon Black metallic paint from the Individual catalog. This finish is reserved for a special edition of the XM Label Red of which only 500 examples will be made.
The BMW M Award has been given annually since 2003 and Marc Márquez managed to win it seven times in a row between 2013 and 2019. Last year, Francesco Bagnaia secured the title and drove home in the M3 Touring G81 painted in Frozen Black and equipped with 1000 M wheels with a Frozen Gold finish.
Every weekend when there’s a race, riders get points for their position in the qualifying session, in line with the scoring system used for the races. The rider who collects the most points at the end of the season secures the BMW M Award. Other noteworthy cars that have been won in recent years included the M5 CS in 2021, M2 CS in 2020, and the X4 M in 2019.
It’ll be interesting to see what car will be chosen for next year’s M Award. If BMW is doing another M4 CS, that seems like a good candidate. Of course, the M2 is also a possibility.