It’s big, it’s bold and it will soon be revealed in a production form to become the most powerful vehicle M has ever built
BMW has unveiled the Concept XM large SUV that previews a production model that will become the marque’s first electrified ‘M’ model.
The production version of the Concept XM will be unveiled at a later date before it goes into production in the United States at the end of 2022.
BMW will offer the SUV exclusively as a plug-in hybrid, known as an M Hybrid, and will be the marque’s first standalone M model since the M1 coupe that was sold between 1978 and 1981.
The Concept XM combines the grunt of a V8 engine and a powerful electric motor to develop a maximum of 550kW of power and 1000Nm of torque – figures that will make it the most powerful readily available model to ever wear an M badge.
As a plug-in hybrid, the Concept XM is also capable of travelling up to 80km exclusively on electric power.
Acceleration times and other performance figures have not yet been confirmed but we can expect this vehicle to confidently take the fight to other purpose-built performance SUVs such as the Lamborghini Urus and even Ferrari’s incoming Purosangue SUV.
BMW’s iconic M performance brand has been given a styling shakeup in the last few years and the latest concept shows the marque will not be retreating to more conservative designs anytime soon.
Leaning into its controversial focus its increasingly large kidney grille, designers have opted for a more square design than the iX large SUV with daytime running lights tracing the edges.
The main headlights are small and split into two separate modules that are squeezed by the muscular side vents and huge bonnet that portray a quite intimidating appearance.
We don’t yet have measurements for the Concept XM but BMW has told us the SUV wears 23-inch alloy wheels that appear to be normal on the concept’s huge frame.
From the side, it’s easy to spot the charging port just behind the front-left wheel and the blank lines that run down the length of the car and add to its angular appearance.
Designers have evolved the swooping rear LED taillight design seen on the facelifted X3 midsize SUV to the extreme, with the far more isolated design that stretched back deep into the rear three-quarter panel.
It’s also hard to miss the huge quad exhaust pipes and the bulges on each side of the roof.
BMW has evolved the interior design to suit the extroverted focus with split personalities seen in the front and back seats.
Upfront, designers have trimmed the interior in a combination of vintage-like dark brown leather along with copper and carbon fibre that are used liberally throughout the cabin.
BMW has created used carbon fibre that is interwoven with copper thread to highlight the screen base, air vents, door cards and other areas.
Multimedia is perhaps the most traditional part of the design with a huge screen running across the surface of the dashboard. Many BMW enthusiasts will also be happy to spot the iDrive controller – suggesting the marque isn’t moving away from physical controls entirely.
The backseats are known as the ‘M Louge’ and feature a lounge-like material with the entire area slashed with a colour aptly known as ‘Petrol’. The rear windows have been heavily tinted to ensure privacy and deep-pile carpeting has been added to build on the luxury credentials.
From every angle the Concept XM is extroverted in its design and while it remains to be seen how many of these features make it to the production model, BMW has shown continuously that it is not afraid to try new things and let sales decide, not critics.
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