Automakers are rolling out new models rapidly, though many are electrics at this point in time. Though BMW’s EV lineup is expanding, the automaker just unveiled a long-expected hybrid performance SUV that will hit the streets in early 2023. The BMW XM is a hybrid SUV with 644 horsepower, a $159,995 price tag, and acres of new tech.
Under the hood, the XM comes with a V8 engine and electric motor that combine for 644 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. Power reaches all four wheels through an eight-speed M-tuned transmission. BMW focused on heat management to extract as much power as possible from the XM’s 7.4-kW battery and says that some of the exterior styling decisions were made to improve cooling and airflow. The run to 60 mph from a standstill takes just 4.1 seconds.
Styling is controversial, but we feel there’s at least a partial explanation for BMW’s floundering in the design department. The XM and many other current BMW models sit right on the automaker’s transition line between gas and electric, so there’s likely some push and pull between designers. How does BMW illustrate its commitment to an electric future while delivering a rowdy, V8-powered SUV? The XM is how, though it’s not the sleek, futuristic vehicle many had hoped for.
A hodgepodge of angles and lines defines the XM’s shape, though its oversized grille helps with cooling and airflow. BMW integrated sensors and cameras into the front fascia, and the grill features an LED light ring that accompanies the daytime running lights at night. Adaptive LED headlights are standard and feature two distinct areas that offer daytime running lights and turn indicators in one portion and the high- and low-beam headlights in another.
That said, there’s no denying that the XM is advanced under the skin. It rides on a platform with a long wheelbase and widened track for better handling and weight distribution. BMW positioned the hybrid battery in the SUV’s floor to lower the center of gravity, and new suspension components help keep the big XM planted. Active roll stabilization helps further, leaning on the SUV’s 48-volt electric motor to produce counter-forces when the vehicle is in corners. BMW equips rear steering to improve the XM’s turning radius, and 23-inch wheels come standard.
The XM features a lounge feel inside and offers unique color combinations. BMW used more than 100 LEDs in the SUV’s headliner, which offer ambient lighting and provide additional alerts for incoming calls, safety notifications, and more. A vintage leather option is available that ages over time with creases and lines that give the interior a one-of-a-kind appearance, as no two XM interiors will age the same way.
BMW’s iDrive 8 infotainment system runs on a large central touchscreen and digital gauge cluster. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, offering over-the-air updates, navigation, apps, and more. A long list of driving assistance systems also comes standard, including forward collision warnings, lane departure warnings, driver alertness monitoring, and more. Options include adaptive cruise control, speed limit assist, active navigation, and traffic light recognition.