The new BMW XM is the first bespoke M model since the M1 supercar

It’s the 50th anniversary of BMW’s M performance subdivision this year and to celebrate the milestone the German brand has revealed this – the new BMW XM. We’ve already seen a long-awaited M3 Touring and the M4 CSL both launch this year, not to mention the upcoming M2, but the plug-in hybrid-powered XM SUV will be a somewhat less traditional car from M.   

We saw BMW M’s creation in concept form last year and the new XM draws plenty of comparisons visually to that car. The powertrain is also carried over – the first time we’ve seen an electrified engine in an M car; it’s a hybrid V8 that’ll also be used to power the BMW M Hybrid race car during next year’s US-based IMSA Sportscar Championship and the World Endurance Championship in 2024. 

  • New BMW XM prototype review

BMW’s signature kidney grille design has grown significantly in recent years (to some controversy) and the XM features some of the biggest grilles we’ve seen yet. The twin headlights, also seen on the new X7 and 7 Series make an appearance here, as do the bonnet indents beside the BMW badge. 

The XM gets a similarly bluff nose to the concept, a rising waistline and a shallow glasshouse. Elsewhere, there’s a charge port on the front wing for the hybrid system. BMW has confirmed that 21-inch wheels will be fitted as standard, with 22 and 23-inch items available at additional cost.

The rear end isn’t quite as brash as the concept’s, but similar design themes are at play with long, slender tail light units, stacked hexagonal exhaust tips and a cutout at the top of the rear window. A pair of BMW badges sit at the top corners of the rear window, evoking the M1 supercar. 

The XM will have the power to rival the likes of the 671bhp Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid and 697bhp Aston Martin DBX 707 thanks to a plug-in hybrid 4.4-litre V8. The twin-turbocharged V8 produces 482bhp and the electric motor adds 194bhp to achieve a combined 644bhp and 800Nm of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. BMW says an even more powerful ‘Label Red’ variant will come in 2023 with 748bhp. 

BMW claims the XM will accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 4.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 155mph. It’s possible to raise this further to 168mph with the option M Driver’s Package. Average fuel consumption for the XM stands at 188.3mpg and it can also drive in electric-only mode allowing for up to 55 miles of pure-electric driving from the 25.7kWh battery. 

The XM offers several drive modes. Hybrid is the default setting and uses the combustion engine and electric motor in tandem; the contribution of both can be varied in the infotainment menu. In Comfort mode the electric motor is prioritised and, if the battery is low on power, the generator function uses the internal-combustion engine to feed additional power into the battery, allowing for pure-electric driving. Sport and Sport Plus modes mean the V8 engine is permanently active alongside the electric motor for full power – you also get more noise from the sports exhaust system in these modes thanks to electronically controlled flaps. 

In terms of suspension, there’s a double-wishbone front axle and a five-link rear axle with steel spring and electronically controlled damping. The damping itself can be adjusted according to the driving mode you’re in. Comfort allows for a softer setting where Sport is geared towards more dynamic driving with firmer damping. 

Inside the XM, you’ll find details such as a M-specific leather steering wheel with shift paddles with carbon inlays, M division multifunction seats and M pedals. The infotainment system is lifted from the iX, so here we see two curved 14.5-inch screens as well as a head-up display. A strict five-seater, the BMW XM’s boot space is a little bigger than the iX’s at 527 litres with the rear seats up and 1,820 litres with them down. 

A range of safety systems come as standard in the XM – including front collision warning, lane departure warning, evasion assistant, alertness assistant and a speed limit warning system.

The XM is available to order now from £144,980, with first deliveries expected in early 2023. 

Now read our list of the best hybrid SUVs

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