BMW M’s most powerful model ever is a PHEV-SUV
BMW gave its performance branch M Motorsport a birthday present at Art Basel’s 2021 Miami Beach show on Tuesday. By the end of 2022, the year in which the sports arm turns 50, its catalog will feature its own exclusive model rolling off the assembly line in the U.S. plant of Spartanburg.
Moreover, when the Concept XM (well, hi there Citroën!) becomes a reality, it will be the most powerful model ever that M put its badge on.
Traditionally, the M department addresses already existing BMW models. However, this time, it receives a model in its own right, for the first time in its history since the legendary M1 from the late seventies.
If that’s a cheer for die-hard fans remains to be seen. While the Concept’s style is overtly expressive, the XM is, in fact, an SUV – not a vehicle type blending effortlessly with the values of a sportscar division.
Moreover, the XM will only be on offer with a PHEV powertrain. This is even newer territory for the M brand, which currently concentrates strictly on six and eight cylinders running on gasoline. Conservatively serving adrenaline, indeed.
So, the XM breaks molds for the M division. “It underlines the ability of BMW M GmbH to break with established conventions and push boundaries to offer fans of the brand the ultimate driving experience,” explains Franciscus van Meel, Managing Director BMW M GmbH.
The looks of the car are prophetic. Especially the front, with its peeping headlights and superlarge illuminated kidneys, flags the new facia for the X range. So it will appear on future BMW models as well. The style of the Concept will coincide pretty closely with the production model, as is usually the case with the brand.
The time has come for BMW’s coveted sports brand to make a move to electrification gradually. So when the XM comes to market, it will feature an electrically assisted V8, pushing peak output to 750 PS and delivering 1 000 Nm of torque. That’s a record for any M – and any BMW.
Details on the size and capacity of the battery and the electric motor are clarified. But the estimation of the purely electric driving range is 80 kilometers. So the battery capacity should at least be around 25 kWh.
With assembly planned for the American site in South Carolina, the XM sits on the same CLAR architecture as the large X7. However, it is worth noting that the latter has no plug-in hybrid version.