Audi had been sponsoring Real Madrid since 2003 but the Spanish football (or should we say soccer?) team parted ways with the Four Rings last year. BMW promptly inked a deal with RM, agreeing to provide the first-division male and female teams with purely electric vehicles such as the iX1, iX3, i4, i7, and the iX. Several months after the deal was announced, some of the superstar players from the main team took delivery of their shiny-new EVs.
Fast forward to June 2023, Real Madrid players were invited by BMW’s Spanish branch to discover the polarizing XM during a special “Driving Experience” event. Several examples of the brand’s first dedicated M model were available, some in Black Sapphire and others in Cape York Green. The players were allowed to race each other in a straight light and even had to tackle a pre-established route by avoiding the cones.
BMW projects Spain will be a small market for the XM, which is expected to generate nearly half of the total sales in the United States (26%) and China (23%). The Middle East (8%) is next, followed by Germany and South Korea with 7% each. In the southwestern European country largely located on the Iberian Peninsula, the electrified SUV kicks off at €179,700 for the regular model and from an eye-watering €201,500 for the XM Label Red.
Of course, the two-minute video is a publicity stunt not necessarily targeting the Spanish market as Real Madrid has global appeal by being one of the most popular football teams of all time. For the same reason pertaining to better international exposure, BMW also has a deal with AC Milan in Italy and was interested in reaching an agreement with Bayern Munich from 2025 until the deal fell through. Audi extended its deal with the German football team until 2029.
The XM is a sign of things to come regarding electrification from M as all next-gen cars will be plug-in hybrids. A purely electric model could land as early as 2027, according to BMW M development boss Dirk Hacker. Meanwhile, the next M car is scheduled to arrive in 2024 as the M5, which was teased earlier today as a Touring model.
Source: BMW Spain / YouTube