Unveiled at Art Basel Miami Beach as a concept vehicle back in December 2021, the 2023 BMW XM is here to shine the light on standout aspects of the M-brand. At face value, it looks like we’ve got the big grilles, vents, wheels, power, and carbon aspects that bring modern ‘M’ cars to life, however, what’s under the surface will truly define the vehicle for diehard ‘M’ fans.
Before it was released as the BMW XM we see today, it was released as the Concept XM, and at the time Franciscus van Meel, CEO of BMW M Gmb H said “The BMW Concept XM represents a complete re-imagining of the high-performance car segment… it underlines the ability of BMW M GmbH to break with established conventions and push boundaries in order to offer fans of the brand the ultimate driving experience. The series production car – the first pure BMW M model since the legendary BMW M1 – shows how we are approaching the step-by-step electrification of our brand”.
Fast forward less than a year later and we’ve been in and out of BMW electric vehicles a number of times this year – our favourite being the BMW iX we drove back in June – and it seems the BMW XM is ticking many of the same boxes. Save for the 4.4-litre TwinPower V8 and hybrid power system producing 480kW, if you’re not sure why, where, or how this vehicle fits in the BMW lineup we don’t blame you.
The BMW XM is set to debut in Australia in the first half of 2023, priced from $297,900 before on-road costs. Production will commence at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in the USA in December this year with local customer deliveries set to begin in the first half of next year.
What Powers the 2023 BMW XM?
It’s a little confusing on-paper, but think of the 2023 BMW XM as a showcase of the brand’s best technology. The engine itself is the highlight, a new 4.4-litre eight-cylinder combustion engine supported by an electric motor developed for the brand endurance race cars from BMW M Motorsport.
As a proof of concept, the BMW M Hybrid V8 engine will go racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in North America in 2023 at venues including Daytona. It’ll then be used in 2024 when it powers BMW M Motorsport’s return to the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
|2023 BMW XM Performance Specifications|
|Engine||4.4-litre M TwinPower V8 engine and electric motor|
|All-Electric Range||82-88km from 27.5kWh lithium-ion battery|
Original performance details for the BMW Concept XM hinted at a 550kW and 1000Nm monster, however, those figures have been pared back to a modest 480kW and 800Nm of torque. BMW assures us that the BMW XM LABEL RED button will be added to the model range at the end of next year to unleash its full power. We think that’s a bit… yeah. If we’re forking out more than $300,000 AUD we’d like to have the full power on tap at all times.
The claimed 0-100km/h time is 4.3-seconds, roughly the same as the BMW iX xDrive50, and is said to be accompanied by an ‘energy-charged soundtrack’ which hints at a lack of noise from the V8 end of town. To put that in perspective, the BMW M5 CS also uses a 4.4-litre turbo V8 and produces a monstrous 627HP and does the 0-100km/h sprint in 3-seconds. This hints at some serious weight behind the BMW XM, although official figures are yet to be announced.
The Combined Charging Unit in the BMW XM enables AC charging at up to 7.4kW and the car can drive 82-88km on all-electric power thanks to a 27.5kWh lithium-ion battery.
How Does the 2023 BMW XM Look?
BMW has thrown everything at the design of BMW XM.
What’s With the Front End?
While the BMW Concept XM unveiled quite an extreme front-end design that trickled down into cars like the X7 and i7, the concept XM cops a calmer design (thankfully) with less extreme size. Overall proportions are that of powerful contours, a stretched silhouette and additions such as a gold accent band that delivers a prominent styling touch while also evoking the black strip running along the body of the BMW M1.
The brand also harks back to the BMW M1 with a classic flat rear window and eye-catching louvred structure of the sculptural rear lights. M light-alloy wheels join the party and are available in a variety of sizes up to 23-inch in diameter, also boast a highly distinctive design with gold accents to match the profile.
Taking the term ‘glasshouse’ to new heights, the XM has rising vertical glass windows all around. The roof rakes down at a rather aggressive angle that’s matched only by the front windscreen. Looking across the bonnet you’ll find air vents that move into the front kidney grilles with large powerful domes commonplace in many modern SUVs. Along the front apron, you’ll find clean black lines that pair beautifully with the large vertical intakes to accentuate the front bumper.
There are No Longer Searchlights in the Roof
The Concept XM took advantage of lightbars in the roof to make up for the squinty headlights. This is no longer the case in the BMW XM that integrates slim LED headlights into the front bar.
Two-tone Side Profile
BMW says the XM displays coupe-like characteristics along the front, however, we think it embodies more of a Jaguar F-Pace or Range Rover Velar attitude in its side appearance than a BMW M1 in which its draws inspiration. We love the two-tone appearance, with an upper section in gold-bronze that contrasts the lower section in Space Grey metallic. Separating the two sections is a high-gloss black ‘belt’ that matches the signature M-detailing around the exterior of the vehicle.
Short sharp lines find sweeping bends to perform an agile expression along the side profile of the vehicle. The sloping roofline intersects with a frontward facing rake in the suspension emphasised by the black wheel arch extensions to finish the overall athletic stance. Wheels are chosen in a whopping 23-inch size with a seven-spoke design.
The Rear Window is Seamless
Most interestingly, the rear window is inserted almost seamlessly into the rear fascia. You can see from the image above that it virtually floats above the rear hatch and conforms to the smoothed horizontal lines. The XM’s flared wheel arches accentuate the rear stance furthered by the thin brake lights that curve off over the rear arches.
Twin tailpipes are immediately evident, triangular in shape and deliver minimal backpressure for the hybrid V8. Our personal favourite angle of the car.
What’s the Interior Like on the 2023 BMW XM?
The embodiment of luxury on the interior is immediately obvious thanks to the vintage leather that surrounds the cabin. The instrument panel, centre console, door trims and seats are lined with an array of copper and carbon fibre to bridge the gap between performance and luxury. A large metal-look trim element provides visual separation and houses the seat and door controls.
In the centre, a BMW Operating System 8, comprises a BMW Curved Display formed by a 12.3-inch information display and a Control Display with a screen diagonal of 14.9 inches that’s positioned to create a balance between traditional driver focus and modern digitality. Accents on the steering wheel and centre console are M-specific references to the car’s sporting prowess.
BMW M Lounge debuts in the rear of the XM with dark-tinted windows, special materials, and soft-touch surfaces. Rear seats are large and deep to firmly hold the occupants, velvet finishes seats, deep pile carpets, and a three-dimensional prism lighting display on the roof round out the experience.
All cabin lighting can be selected in any of the three M-colours and there’s even a sculptural headliner with a dramatic three-dimensional prism structure, photo mount-style border and 100 LED units for illumination. It’s safe to say the BMW XM has it all, but more information about the car can be found via the link below.
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