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Concept XM teases BMW’s most powerful M model

PHEV with 550kW is production-ready and on Aussie wish list, says BMW

30 Nov 2021

BMW has revealed an audacious concept model that previews a high-performance plug-in hybrid SUV that will debut towards the end of 2022. What’s more, BMW Australia says the model is high on its wish list for the local market, in which M variants and SUV models are particularly popular.

 

The Concept XM “looks ahead to the most powerful BMW M car to go into series production”, BMW said in a statement; the model combines BMW’s existing 4.4-litre twin turbocharged V8 petrol engine with plug-in hybrid capabilities to deliver a staggering 550kW and 1000Nm.

 

The concept’s M Hybrid drive system is said to provide an all-electric driving range of up to 80km while offering Lamborghini Urus- and (forthcoming) Ferrari Purosangue-rivalling performance. Suffice to say it pushes the boundaries of the brand’s “Ultimate Driving Experience” motto.

 

“The BMW Concept XM represents a complete re-imagining of the high-performance car segment,” BMW M CEO Frank van Meel said. 

 

“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. 

 

“The series-production car – the first pure BMW M model since the legendary BMW M1 – will show how we are approaching the step-by-step electrification of our brand,” Mr Meel added.

 

The production version of the Concept XM will be the first standalone model to come from the M brand since the legendary M1 supercar of the late 70s. BMW M says the concept’s bold exterior styling “reflects the car’s exceptional performance attributes, dynamism, agility, and precision”.

 

Aimed at achieving “maximum presence”, the front end of the BMW Concept XM previews what its designers say is a progressive design with headlights split into two separate modules, the upper module capped with a sharply styled LED daytime running light. 

 

The horizontal kidney grille tapers toward the outboard edges of the front fascia and the black, M-style double bars of the grille elements “add to the perception of width”.

 

The glasshouse of the futuristically styled concept rises vertically to accentuate the model’s solid proportions, while the A-pillar covers (finished in black) exaggerate the rake of the windscreen. 

 

Slimline LED lights are set into the top of the A-pillars to provide a new lighting signature for the brand’s X range. 

 

BMW head of design Domagoj Dukec said the coupe-like roofline enriched “the dynamism of the sideview” and added that the concept’s design was “an extravagant statement in the heart of the luxury segment. It has a unique identity and embodies an expressive lifestyle like no other BMW.”

 

Two-tone paint, signature M mirrors, 23-inch alloy whees and an exposed charging flap give the car a “clean-cut and technical, sporty edge”, while reminding onlookers “of the M Hybrid drive system at work”.

 

At the rear, the tailgate of the BMW Concept XM sees a “fresh interpretation” of the brand’s logo, which is etched into the window in two places as a nod to the original M1. 

 

The wide wheel arches are connected by a “dominating rear apron” with dual-branch twin exhaust outlets that “generate an emotionally rich M-typical soundtrack”. The tail-lights feature a slim, L-shaped design – they glow red only when in operation (stay black when not in use).

 

Inside, a driver-focused M Lounge cockpit is complemented by “high comfort” rear seats and an “illuminated, sculptural headliner”. The cabin trims and finishes combine brown, vintage-look leather, copper and carbon-fibre to create a “bridge between luxury and motorsport”.

 

BMW’s Curved Display sits front and centre in the driver’s view – the red accents on the steering wheel and centre console represent further nods to the M brand’s “sporting prowess”. 

 

Speaking to GoAutoNews, BMW Australia general manager of corporate communications Leanne Blanckenberg said that although the production version of the BMW Concept XM was still a way off, it was one of a handful of upcoming models that were high on the company’s wish list.

 

“The BMW M brand and BMW X range are important to Australia – one in five BMWs sold here wear an M badge and BMW X vehicles represent more than 60 per cent of our total sales volume,” Ms Blanckenberg explained.

 

“With that in mind, the BMW Concept XM has immediate appeal for our market. If the production model is made available to us, we will definitely offer it to our customers,” she added.

 


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