BMW M’s most powerful model also travels 30 miles on batteries
There were plenty of skeptics — and more than a few naysayers — when BMW rolled out the XM concept car ahead of the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show. But the high-performance plug-in hybrid is back, and this time in form. of production.
Slightly toned down from last year’s cutting-edge show car, the XM is both the most powerful street model the M brand has ever produced and its first original offering to be electrified. The moment of the exotic SUV coincides with the 50e M’s anniversary – and comes as some of BMW’s high-performance rivals tinker with ways to electrify their own product lines.
“BMW M unleashes high performance in a form never seen before. Innovative drive system technology, a unique vehicle concept, an open door to a completely new market segment and the ambition to attract n customer groups said the automaker in a statement released with these photos offering the first unmasked look at the 2023 XM.
TwinPower meets hybrid power
The new SUV draws its power from a new design 483 horsepower TwinPower Turbo V8 paired with a 194 horsepower electric motor integrated into the 8-speed XM M Steptronic transmission. The combination produces a peak 644 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque which is sent to all four wheels via an M-tuned xDrive system. Using Launch Control, BMW says, you can hit 60 in 4.1 seconds.
The 25.7 kilowatt-hour battery, meanwhile, should provide around 30 miles of range when the XM is put into all-electric mode. Motorists can enter battery saver mode, saving a charged pack until needed. This allows them to get off the hook when entering one of the cities that mandate zero emissions or charge access fees for vehicles using internal combustion energy.
Performance-wise, the production model actually falls a bit short of the original XM concept, which BMW officials predicted last year could deliver 750 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque.
XM Label Red
The Bavarian automaker plans to come closer by adding the XM Label Red model next year. This limited-run package will add even more luxury features, including unique paint, upholstery and wheel, while boosting the combined output of the hybrid drivetrains to 735 hp and 735 lb-ft of torque.
The XM Concept has clearly launched a debate when he debuted. The use of a plug-in hybrid drivetrain was secondary to the show car’s over-the-top design. A single curved glass panel dominated the dashboard, which was finished with carbon fiber parts and interwoven copper wires.
The doors and front seats were upholstered in rich Cordovan leather with the texture of a favorite leather coat. BMW described the rear seat as a “lounge”, finishing it in a vibrant aquamarine – with quilted fabric seats, while the backs were matte-finish leather. The floor, meanwhile, featured thick carpeting, while a thick headliner uses both direct and indirect lighting,
A little less nervous
The production model is less edgy – but only by degrees. The version shown in these factory images has thick brown merino leather on the surfaces of the IP, roof and upper doors. Contrasting blue is used for the seats, center console and lower surfaces. It all retains the feel of an old favorite leather coat, with BMW using a new finishing process to highlight the “creases, scars and worn areas” of leather surfaces.
The production SUV is designed to elicit buyer emotions, BMW said. What to do, then, with a powertrain that makes good use of generally quiet electric motors.
A “sound experience”
Among the more innovative touches, M engineers have developed a way to combine the sound of both powertrain elements. “The electric motor retains its sonic accompaniment when the combustion engine is running,” he noted. “If Sport or Sport Plus mode is activated in HYBRID driving mode, a distinctive boost sound gives the driver an acoustic experience of the additional performance provided by the electric motor.”
In all-electric mode, the automaker added, it creates another distinctive sonic ‘experience’.
When BMW unveiled the XM Concept last year, M CEO Frank van Meel suggested the show car “It underscores BMW M GmbH’s ability to break with established conventions and push boundaries in order to to offer fans of the brand the ultimate driving experience. .”
AMG is also going hybrid
But the automaker isn’t alone in looking for the right way to electrify its performance products. Just last week, the automaker’s German rival rolled out the new Mercedes-AMG C 63 SE 2024. It’s also a plug-in hybrid, albeit with a much smaller battery. The internal combustion side of the C 63 pack is itself “the most powerful 4-cylinder ever”, Mercedes noted. It develops 480 horsepower for a single displacement of 2.0 liters. Combined with a single rear-mounted electric motor, the package produces a combined output of 671 hp and 752 lb-ft, which is 236 lb-ft more than the current V-8-powered C 63.
The BMW XM will go into production later this year at the automaker’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Expect first deliveries in 2023, starting at $150,000 plus $995 in delivery charges. BMW plans to unveil the XM Label Red soon after and is expected to put it into production later in 2023. It will have an MSRP of $185,000 before shipping costs and will be produced in limited numbers, BMW noted.