• The BMW XM is a Production-Bound 750-Horsepower Hybrid Beast

As BMW’s second standalone M model, it’s related to the M1 but is wildly different

The BMW M1 was the first standalone M model, and it was produced for just three years – from 1978-1981. It has taken 40 years, but a new standalone M model has finally been revealed, and while it’s not the AMG-fighting sports car we all expected, it certainly harnesses everything that BMW M stands for. This angular, aggressive crossover isn’t an electric car as you might have expected, either. In fact, it is powered by a brutal, hybridized V-8, and even better yet, it’s heading to the production line in 2022.

BMW XM – Evolving What a Standalone M Car is Meant to Be

The BMW XM is a Production-Bound 750-Horsepower Hybrid Beast
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The 1978-1981 BMW M1 was an amazing mid-engined car that rocked a 3.5-liter inline-six that delivered 274 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. The car represented a lot of firsts for BMW but, sadly, it was discontinued three years after it was born, and it’s taken 40 years for a – very different – successor to come our way. This time around, we’re looking at a crossover that is, arguably, the most aggressive design we’ve ever seen from BMW. Lurking under the hood is a V-8 engine (believed to be a tweaked version of the S58 V-8) Paired with a newly developed M plug-in hybrid system, the XM has a total system output of 750 horsepower (551 kW) and 737 pound-feet (1,000 Nm) of torque. BMW says it’s capable of delivering up to 30 miles (48 km) of all-electric range on a full battery. We don’t have any specifics in terms of sprint speeds or top speed, but you can imagine that 0-60 mph comes in quite low, probably in 3.7-4.0 seconds, if not faster.

The BMW XM is a Production-Bound 750-Horsepower Hybrid Beast
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The style and design of the XM is arguably just as important as the powertrain. The design itself is unlike anything BMW has ever done before, which confirms that BMW M was given complete freedom to design a car that’s true to the name. It does, of course, have huge kidney grilles – maybe the largest we’ve seen so far – but they at least match the size of the nose well. The grille frames are illuminated for a cool nighttime presence and the LED headlights are super slim and tucked away ever so sleekly under the edge of the hood. The front corner vents may or may not be fake, however, they do look like they were designed to channel air properly, so it’s likely they do send some air to the brakes, front electric motor, or the battery to assist with cooling duties.

The BMW XM is a Production-Bound 750-Horsepower Hybrid Beast
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The side profile is dominated by the huge 23-inch, 14-spoke wheels that are, believe it or not, the largest wheels ever found on a BMW. The rest of the side profile is as angular as possible but somehow refrains from being too aggressive. The way the beltline elevates above the rear quarter panel mixed in with that massive C-pillar does evoke a bit of anxiety in regard to rear visibility but with all the tech we have these days, blind spots should be minimal. Another cool feature to make note of are the ultra-slim LED taillights that fold dramatically around the rear and also serve as massive side markers. The rear glass even has a subtle tribute to the old-school M1 with the BMW roundels etched into the corners of the glass (think of the badges on the M1’s flying buttresses).

The BMW XM is a Production-Bound 750-Horsepower Hybrid Beast
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The BMW XM is a Production-Bound 750-Horsepower Hybrid Beast
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The interior of the XM is just as wild as the exterior, however, for a concept it seems more production ready that I expected. The cockpit is driver focused in typical BMW fashion, but there’s a unique color layout here like we’ve never seen. The front of the cabin is highlighted with vintage-brown leather while the rear passengers ride on an aquamarine, diamond-stitched velvet bench seat. Yes, this BMW actually has velvet. The headliner is dominated by the illuminated 3D prism structure that ties in with the Ambient lighting to produce a cool light show in – big surprise – BMW M colors. Finally, there’s not a lot of outrageous tech here, either. It does feature BMW’s new iDrive infotainment and driver information system that’s packed into a massive, curved display.

The BMW XM is a Production-Bound 750-Horsepower Hybrid Beast
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There’s no telling how much of the XM Concept will make it to production, but I wouldn’t expect it to change much. It’s void of all the usual conceptual features that get left at the concept stage with exception of the lack of door handles. There’s nothing about the design otherwise, inside or out, that doesn’t suggest this concept is 95-percent production ready. A production version should be revealed sometime in 2022 with sales expected to start for the 2023 model year. Pricing is a big mystery, but you can expect a six-figure price tag with $140,000 sounding about right.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - Robert.moore@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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