Munich. — It’s big, it’s bold and it doesn’t care if you don’t like the way it looks. Meet the BMW M Division’s first standalone product since the M1.
The new BMW XM is a far cry from that mid-engined sports car of the 1970s, however. It takes the form of an SUV, or SAV as BMW calls it, and it also happens to be the most powerful vehicle that the Bavarian carmaker has created.
This is thanks to a new hybrid drivetrain that, in the standard version, produces system outputs of 480kW and 800Nm.
It pairs a 4.4-litre turbocharged V8 engine, which on its own delivers 360kW, with a 145kW electric drive system.
Later in 2023, BMW will be introducing an even more powerful XM called the Red Label, which will boast system outputs of 550kW and 1000Nm. BMW hasn’t listed any performance figures for the Red Label, but it will certainly improve on the standard XM’s claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.3 seconds.
As a plug-in hybrid, the BMW XM can also be driven on electric power alone for up to 82kW (on the WLTP cycle) thanks to a 25.7 kWh lithium-ion battery.
THe M Hybrid button on the centre console allows drivers to shift between three operating modes.
Power goes to all four wheels through an eight-speed M Steptronic gearbox and rear-biased M xDrive all-wheel drive system, which offers 4WD Sport and Sand modes. The vehicle also features a full-variable M Sport rear differential as well as adaptive M suspension Professional with active roll stabilisation powered by 48V electric motors. Integral Active Steering is also part of the deal when you buy a BMW XM.
The vehicle rolls on 21-inch wheels as standard, but if that’s not brash enough for you, BMW is also offering a variety of alternatives, sized up to 23 inches.
The cabin was designed to offer a lounge-like experience in the back of the cabin, complete with specially designed cushions and heated backrests that extend well into the sides of the rear compartment.
There’s also an interesting sculptural headliner that boasts a 3D prism structure and illumination via 100 LED units.
There are multiple customisation options and clients can also opt for “Vintage leather” for the dashboard and door panels.
The cockpit includes a BMW Curved Display dual-screen set-up, with M-specific graphics, and a BMW Head-Up Display. A Harman Kardon Surround Sound System is standard, but buyers can also opt for the “Diamond” version with a 1500-watt amplifier.
South Africans will get an early preview of the new BMW XM as it will be displayed at the 2022 BMW M Festival that kicks off on October 15.
The vehicle is expected to go on sale locally during the second quarter of 2023. — IOL Motoring