Star Cars of The British Motor Show 2023 – BMW XM
On first glance, the XM seems like just another plug-in hybrid SUV to be released by BMW – but look closer and you will discover it is anything but.
While BMW is no stranger to the high-performance luxury SUV, the XM is only the second standalone model to be produced by the Munich marque’s M-Division.
The first – as all Beemer boffins will know – was the M1 supercar, developed back in the late Seventies.
[Text Wrapping Break]The M1 had its sights set on Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Porsche, which can also be said for the new XM.
With Ferrari releasing the Purosangue, Lamborghini the Urus, Porsche the Cayenne GT and Aston the DBX, BMW now wants a slice of the action.
The result is a striking design that takes the most bold design language in BMW’s range and turns it up to 11.
The XM takes the already huge kidney grilles of the current M3/4 and 7-Series and enhances them further – giving them wraparound LED running lights. The two-tone alloy wheels are huge – with 21-, 22- and 23-inch designs available – while the slender tail lights, stacked quad pipes and the deleted BMW badging sets the rear apart from any other Beemer in the range.
Interesting styling details include the small roundels positioned in the top corners of the rear window, which mirror the original M1, and the two-toned framing of the windows.
Of course, it’s not all style over substance. The XM is positioned as an all-purpose performance car, so BMW has given it both a stonking 4.4L V8 and an electric motor. Combined, this gives the XM 653 hp and 800 Nm of torque – resulting in a sprint to 60 mph of 4.3 seconds.
Compare that to the 273 hp developed by the original M1, and you will realise how quickly times have changed.
However, if you want to experience M-Division’s flagship in full force, you will have to wait for the Red Label version to be released, which will deliver a whopping 748hp and 1,000Nm of torque.
Regardless of which model you opt for, the XM is equipped with an impressive 25.7kWh battery that returns approximately 55 miles of pure electric mode.
Of course, as you would expect with a car developed from the ground up by the M-Division, the XM is running specially developed adaptive suspension to enable you to deploy all that power in such a huge machine.
In terms of practicality, the XM fares well. It has a boot capacity of 527 litres, which is bang on what you can expect from its illustrious rivals.
Meanwhile, the cabin features an impressive number of storage bins, USB ports and luxurious details that mark it out as a stand-alone model.
This includes an LED light strip that wraps around the roof lining, lighting up in the M Sport colours upon start-up, which is accompanied with a start-up sound that was created by legendary composer Hans Zimmer for the XM.
Prices start at £147,155.
Intrigued by BMW M’s new standalone flagship? Come and see it for yourself at The British Motor Show, between 17-20 of August by visiting the Marshall BWM stand.