BMW’s M division has celebrated its 50th anniversary with only the second bespoke model in its history: the XM.
Closely previewed by this show car, the Concept XM, the large SUV will be BMW M’s first-ever electrified model, with a high-performance 740bhp plug-in hybrid powertrain built around its famed 4.4-litre petrol V8.
Derived from the BMW X7, it is effectively an X8 if you follow BMW’s traditional naming convention, whereby the more rakish, coupé-style versions of its SUVs get even-numbered names. However, the XM will be sold solely as an M car – the first and only BMW since the seminal M1 supercar of 1978 to claim that exclusivity.
It gets completely bespoke styling, drivetrain hardware and technology to further justify its creation and positioning; and it departs much further in its styling from the model on which it’s based than the BMW X4 and BMW X6.
The Concept XM made its public debut in Miami, Florida, which is significant, as the US will be by far the largest market for the production car. UK sales will come, however, most likely by summer 2023. Production of the model will begin at Spartanburg, South Carolina – BMW’s largest plant in the world and the home of its SUVs – later in 2022.
The Concept XM’s PHEV powertrain will be one of a number of features to make it to the production car largely unchanged. BMW hasn’t revealed too much specific information, but central to it is the firm’s twin-turbocharged V8 engine. This works with a single high-performance electric motor that, following BMW convention, is expected to be mounted within an eightspeed automatic gearbox and drive all four wheels.