Every BMW M model except the M1 has been based on a regular “Series” or X model. Today, the 2023 BMW XM has been fully revealed, a clear exception to the rule and a statement piece from the Bavarians.
While BMW makes many other high-performance SUVs, such as the X5 M, X6 M, and X7 M60i, the XM stands out. No other German automaker has something like this, both from a design perspective and when it comes to the powertrain.
We’ve been following the development of the XM since before it was shown as a concept in November 2021. A few things have been rumored about their flagship SUV, and most of them turned out to be true. The regular XM is indeed powered by the latest version of a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, which is only rated at 483 hp (490 PS) and 479 lb-ft (650 Nm), which is way less than you get in an M50i model.
In addition, the XM features one electric motor capable of 194 hp (197 PS), exactly the same as a Z4 20i. Together they produce 644 hp (653 PS) and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm). The official 0 to 60 mph sprint time is 4.1 seconds, and that’s not exactly impressive considering the X6 M Competition needs only 3.8 seconds.
However, the XM is also a preview of the future plug-in hybrid M-tuned tech which will soon power the next M5. It has an EV-only top speed of 87 miles per hour (140 km/h) and a theoretical range of 30 miles thanks to the 25.7 kWh battery.
The XM is like a chopped X7
Think of this not as a Lamborghini Urus rival but as a status symbol, like one of those Range Rovers with only two captain’s chairs in the back. The XM has the exact same 122-inch wheelbase as the X7 with which it shares its underpinnings. Yet it’s 167 lbs heavier than an X7 M60i at over 6000 lbs and carries three fewer passengers. With a base price of $160,000, it also costs way more.
But the specs don’t end there. Next year, BMW will start offering the XM Label Red with a base price of $185,000 and a hybrid motor that’s been boosted to 735 hp (745 PS) and 735 lb-ft (997 Nm). That’s probably how the new M business plan will work going forward: super expensive and ultra super expensive. Sounds like you’re buying an aged whiskey.
The main rival of the XM at the moment is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, the most powerful version of the Stuttgart SUV which produces 670 hp (680 PS) and 663 lb-ft (900 Nm) of torque. It’s faster to 60 mph (3.6 seconds), but its battery only offers 15 miles of EV range. However, it’s my personal oppinion that Mercedes has the current best plug-in performance system in the AMG GT 63.
If you’ve grown accustomed to the way the refreshed X7 looks, you’ll probably appreciate the XM as well. It doesn’t have that timeless look of the Range Rover, but it’s about as sporty as the Urus. 23-inch wheels come standard, and those vertically-stacked exhaust tips make a powerful statement.
Inside, it’s not a radical departure from existing BMWs. However, the dash has been upholstered in special Vintage Coffee Merino leather which showcases the natural creases occurring in natural cowhides. The contrast against the Deep Lagoon blue of the seats is striking.