The newest entry to procure the M performance badging is a hybrid SUV with the brand’s largest grille yet. BMW’s 2023 XM, previously teased with a concept that sparked some hate in November last year, will hit the streets in early 2023, and we assume enthusiasts will have a hard time keeping their eyes on it.
Possible sentiment of being the model to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the M badge aside, its power numbers can certainly provide some validation, with 644 horsepower and 590 lb-ft. of torque coming out of a 4.4-litre twin turbocharged hybrid V8. The V8 itself makes 488 hp, while the electric motor has 196. All wheel drive and an eight-speed transmission make up its powertrain, with a claimed 0-60 of 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 249 km/h, or 270, if equipped with the optional M Driver package. As if this wasn’t quite over-the-top for its class, the Germans promised a more powerful ‘Red Label’ variant with 758 horsepower onboard later down the road.
The electric motors allow for 88 kilometers without the use of the main engine, which could be useful when running low on fuel. Driving modes include the default hybrid mode, where the use of both motors can be adjusted to the users liking, comfort, which prioritizes use of the electric motor and could activate the larger engine to feed more power to the other, and Sport/Sport Plus, where both the V8 and the electric motor are fully utilized at all times. Handling is much more adjustable thanks to the electronically-controlled dampers and active anti-roll bars. Surprisingly, the XM will have traditional steel springs instead of air suspension, which makes sense when remembering that it weighs 2.7 tons. Air suspension reliability in commercial vehicles has improved overtime, but we doubt it will last in a car like the XM.
p class=”MsoNormal”>It is safe to assume that the design is not for everyone, with the controversially large grilles, rather unrestrained styling and questionable color palette of pale green with gold accents. Prices start at $159,995, and the ‘Red Label’ is speculated to be well over $180,000. With its large, sharp-lined exterior, we’re still taking the time to process that this may be on the roads.
(Image sourced from BMW)
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