When the BMW XM first debuted, it was the most powerful production BMW in history. It’s since been beaten, only by another XM variant—the Label Red—but it’s still an immensely powerful machine. With a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 hybrid powertrain, it combines to make 644 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. But just how much speed does that power translate into? In this new POV drive video from AutoTopNL, you get to find out.
Judging by the GPS timing gear, the BMW XM was able to rip off a 4.05-second 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time. That’s quick, and certainly quick enough to be great fun, but it is a bit of a let down, despite its overachieving. BMW’s are known for performing better in the real world than their claimed figures and the XM continues that trend. The Bavarians claim it can reach 60 mph in 4.1 seconds (according to BMW North America), so hitting 62 mph in essentially four seconds flat is an improvement. However, it’s still a bit of a let down when you look at other SUVs, both in the segment and in BMW’s own lineup.
The BMW X6 M only makes 617 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, less than both of the XM’s figures, and costs about $20-30,000 less and will absolutely smoke the XM. Not only is the X6 M faster on paper, hitting 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, but it’s much faster in the real world, as we’ve seen low-threes from the X6 M in certain independent tests. Both the Audi RS Q8 and Porsche Cayenne Turbo S would also eat the XM’s lunch without breaking a sweat.
Why is the BMW XM comparatively slow? Weight. The BMW XM tips the scales at over 6,000 lbs. Yeesh. Is that really what the M Division has been reduced to, making absurdly heavy fashion pieces that aren’t even competitive in the segment? Don’t get me wrong, the BMW XM is fast, it handles well for an SUV of its size, and it’s probably pretty fun for an SUV if you push it on track. But the fact that it stakes its claim as the most powerful BMW ever and then fails to outperform less powerful BMWs—and almost every other performance SUV in its price range—turns what could have been a very cool car into the butt of a joke.
I think I can safely say we all wanted the BMW XM to be special. Since it isn’t all that special to drive, it better deliver special straight line performance. And it can’t even do that.