By now, you’ve probably seen the intense footage with the XM Label Red slamming into a tree during the Pikes Peak hill climb run back in June. The plug-in hybrid SUV flipped but eventually ended on its wheels, with the driver getting out of the vehicle safe and sound. Behind the wheel was Performance Chief Driving Instructor Matt Mullins, and despite the setback, he was determined to have another go at setting a record for production SUVs with a hybrid powertrain.
The XM Label Red returned to Colorado Springs on September 21, and this time around, it ended well. During an officially certified course run, Matt Mullins completed the hill climb in 10 minutes and 48.6 seconds. It should be noted that BMW’s most powerful production vehicle ever is not the fastest SUV overall at Pikes Peak as that title belongs to the Lamborghini Urus with a time of 10 minutes and 32 seconds.
We’ll be the first to say that a vehicle weighing just under 6,000 pounds (a little over 2,700 kilograms) doesn’t seem an ideal tool for Pikes Peak but BMW wants to prove its electrified mastodont has real performance cred despite its heft. The first dedicated M model since the mid-engined M1 supercar successfully completed the 12.42-mile-long course with no fewer than 156 turns.
If you’re unfamiliar with Pikes Peak, drivers start the race at 9,400 feet (2,865 meters) above sea level and reach the summit at 14,120 feet (4,303 meters), therefore climbing 4,720 feet (1,440 meters).
As for the XM Label Red, we’ll remind you it has BMW’s new S68 engine, a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8, that works with an electric motor for a combined output of 738 hp and 738 lb-ft. In the onboard footage released today, we get to see Matt Mullins masterfully controlling all those electrified horses to establish a record for hybrid SUVs after the accident during the 101st edition of the “Race to the Clouds.”
Source: BMW M / YouTube