Although the XM has been around for about a year or so, we’re honestly still having a hard time getting used to its wild styling. It’s unlike any other BMW before it, and some of the available options make it even more of an attention-grabbing M car. A striking example of Bavaria’s flagship SUV is displayed at the BMW Welt in M Melbourne Red with contrasting black accents and mighty 23-inch wheels.

In 2024, BMW’s idea of a dedicated M car is this huge SUV with split headlights and vertically stacked exhaust tips. It has virtually nothing in common with the M1 before it, a low-slung supercar with a mid-mounted engine and a low curb weight. Why did the M division decide to go down this road? The answer is as simple as it’s predictable: sales. Indeed, BMW reckons it can make more money with an SUV than with a bespoke supercar, which is why the I16 project was canceled in 2020.

Photo by BMW China, 2022 BMW XM Sneak Preview

Many would argue the XM is for posers rather than BMW enthusiasts. Even if an M fan would want to buy an SUV for the family, the X5 M Competition is a wiser choice since it’s a lot cheaper. Although it’s down on power, you’re not really sacrificing any of the performance as the XM is considerably heavier. In addition, the plug-in hybrid setup means the battery must be charged to get the most out of the electric motor. With the X5 M, you just put gas in the tank and the V8 is good to go. We might add the X5 M also looks far better with its conventional design but to each their own.

Like it or not, electrification is the way to go. The XM’s V8 and electric motor are going into the new M5 Sedan and Touring later this year. BMW M has already confirmed all next-generation models will be electrified to a certain degree, and yes, an M model without a combustion engine is inevitably coming. It’s likely to hit the market in the latter half of the decade as an M3-like EV on the Neue Klasse platform.

It’s too early to know whether the XM will live to see a second generation. Early signs show demand is not that great but that doesn’t necessarily mean BMW is looking to kill off the eccentric SUV. We’re hearing the “G09” will remain in production until near the end of 2027 and a “G79” electric XM might follow from late 2028.

Source:  rsDrive / YouTube