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BMW reveals high-performance XM SUV

BMW has unveiled the performance-focused XM SUV - a V8 plug-in hybrid with 653hp and a 0-62mph sprint time of 4.3 seconds

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BMW has given us a first look at its all-new XM SUV, which is powered by a twin-turbocharged V8 plug-in hybrid engine, as the brand’s performance-focused ‘M’ division celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Expected to arrive in the UK early next year, the five-seater BMW XM is the first ever electrified ‘M’ car, which the manufacturer says is a bespoke design that is not related to any SUV in the manufacturer’s standard line-up.

That said, the XM does take some design cues from other new entrants in the BMW line-up. The SUV’s two large kidney grills are flanked by the same narrow headlight and foglight designs as seen on the new 7 Series saloon, and both new models have similar bonnet grooves too.

The XM sits on 21-inch alloy wheels as standard, but 22- and 23-inch alloys options are also available. All models are all-wheel drive, and come fitted with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Seven exterior colour options will be available at launch, with more to follow as 2023 progresses.

BMW says that the XM’s plug-in hybrid powertrain is “newly-developed”, pairing a 489hp twin-turbo V8 petrol engine with an electric motor for a total power output of 653hp and 800Nm of torque. The car’s speed is limited to 155mph, but customers who opt for the additional ‘M Driver’s Package’ will see the top speed limit increased to 168mph.

This means that this new ‘M’ division SUV is less powerful than the likes of the Aston Martin DBX 707, Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid and the recently unveiled Ferrari Purosangue. However, BMW says that it will launch a 748hp ‘Label Red’ XM trim in 2023, which will become the most powerful hot-SUV on the market and the most powerful road-legal BMW M car in the company’s history.

For now, the manufacturer says that all of these performance specs are yet to be finalised, but predicts that the XM will have a fuel consumption of 176-183mpg, and says that the SUV can travel up to 55 miles on just electric power using its 26kWh battery.

The driver will be able to select between different drive modes using the infotainment panel, which vary the power output of the V8 and electric motor, adjust the suspension settings and change the soundtrack of the exhaust system.

The standard setting is ‘Hybrid’ mode which uses both the petrol engine and electric motor in equal measure. In ‘Comfort’ mode, the electric motor is prioritised, and in ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport Plus’ modes the petrol engine is permanently active instead. ‘Electric’ mode only makes use of the electric motor and battery.

Inside, BMW says that the XM’s leather-trimmed interior comes with the latest technology that the brand has to offer, including the 15-inch digital instrument cluster and 15-inch infotainment console that also feature on the iX SUV unveiled late last year. Safety features include lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control, traffic light recognition and semi-autonomous parking assistance that will handle some parking manoeuvres for you.

The car’s suite of camera tech also allows the driver to record up to a minute of high-definition video while driving to show off to friends, and an anti-theft recorder feature will use cameras in the front, rear and wing mirrors to send a video to the driver’s smartphone when it deems the car has been stolen, to help the authorities track down the stolen XM. A 16-speaker sound system also comes as standard.

The driver and passengers can also watch Youtube videos on the infotainment screen while the car is stationary, and customers who have an iPhone can unlock the car remotely using a digital key. The tailgate can be opened electronically using a button on the dashboard, revealing 527 litres of boot space.

That just about sums up our first look at the BMW XM – more details, including UK pricing, will be announced closer to the vehicle’s launch.

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Sean Rees
Sean Rees
Sean is the Deputy Editor at The Car Expert. A enthusiastic fan of motorsport and all things automotive, he is accredited by the Professional Publishers Association, and is now focused on helping those in car-buying need with independent and impartial advice.