Oh, how things have changed. The last time BMW's M motorsport division had a standalone M car was in 1978 when they built a supercar. Here they are, decades later, with another bespoke M vehicle. However, it's not exactly a supercar. It's an SUV, that's built to perform like a supercar.
Say hello to the 2023 BMW XL..... sorry, XM and it's big in every aspect there is. Positioned above the X5 M, X6 M Competition, and X7 M60i, it's the German brand's way of saying go big, or go home.
As you can see, it's not even close to looking like it was derived from a standard BMW with that busy front end. The XM has a split headlight design, and that huge kidney grille is there to stay, whether you like it or not. Of course, there's that typical BMW M quad exhaust pipe stacked at the back, while the rest of the super SUV features gold accents to celebrate the performance brand's 50th anniversary.
Now on to the numbers. Standing 5110 mm long, 2005 mm wide, and 1755 mm tall, it's longer than the LWB version of the latest Range Rover, while being just as wide. And with its heaviest version tipping the scales at 2785 kg, it's the heftiest BMW car yet.
We weren't kidding when we said everything about this super SUV is big, as it's being offered with 23-inch wheels - 275mm wide tires in front, and 315mm wide tires at the back. If it's too big for you, well BMW M has another optional set of wheels, which is one size smaller or you can stick with the standard 21-inch light alloys.
With an SUV this huge, it's going to need a lot of power. Well, BMW M's got that covered. Under the hood is a new 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 called S68, producing 489 PS and 650 Nm of torque. It's assisted by an electric motor integrated into the 8-speed M steptronic transmission, which puts out 197 PS and 280 Nm. When combined, the M Hybrid drive system of the XM delivers a total of 653 PS and a maximum overall torque of 800 Nm.
According to BMW, the electrified super SUV can sprint to 100 km/h from a standstill in just 4.3 seconds. And like other BMW M models, the top speed is limited to 250 km/h from the factory. But once you opt for the M Driver's Package, the XM tops out at 270 km/h.
When it comes to its electric drive capabilities, the XM has a lithium-ion battery pack with 25.7 kWh of usable energy. This gives the vehicle an estimated all-electric range of around 82 to 88 kilometers while being capable of reaching up to 140 km/h in Electric mode.
Step inside the super SUV and you'll expect nothing short of an all-leather interior. While it's not as outrageous as the Concept XM from last year, it still has those fancy light effects in its headliner, which changes depending on the driving mode. Standard features include M-specific stuff like multifunction seats, a bespoke M leather steering wheel, and M graphics for the screens in the dashboard.
In addition, the XM has the widest array yet of driver assistance systems offered to a BMW, as it comes with the full range of BMW's Driving Assistant and Parking Assistant Plus.
The 2023 XM will be made in BMW's Spartanburg, South Carolina plant in December 2022 before arriving globally at dealerships come 2023. There's also a more expensive limited-production version coming next year with the XM Label Red, which will have more power along with special paint, wheels, and interior pieces.
What do you think of the 2023 BMW XM? Let us know in the comments.