If I were to guess, I think BMW has prided itself on shaking things up when it comes to automotive design as of late. The introduction of their new controversial grille designs has certainly turned some heads – for good and for bad. However, BMW isn’t done with creating a bit of an uproar as they have introduced a new Concept XM plug-in hybrid M SUV.
The new BMW Concept XM embodies a totally new design language that we could see set a new tone for the “looks” of new BMW X models, which is their lineup of SUVs. With the inevitable move to electric vehicles coming down the pipeline, BMW has made a subtle move in making the new XM a plug-in hybrid, which permits them to make the XM the most powerful M vehicle ever produced.
I know what you’re thinking, why is the most powerful M vehicle an SUV? Yes, I wondered the same thing. However, you must realize that the most popular vehicle type right now is an SUV and such vehicles are what bolsters automotive manufacturers so they can build sports cars and one-off track machines.
Powering the new BMW XM plug-in hybrid is a combination of the brand’s twin-turbo V8 engine, likely a version of their 4.4-liter, and an electric motor for a combined output of 750 horsepower and 727 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor will be over 20-kWh and provide an all-electric range of about 30 miles based on the U.S. EPA cycle. Official ratings have yet to be released.
Taking on a new bold approach to design, the new XM embodies new lighting elements that we will probably see on future BMW vehicles including the upcoming new lineup of SUVs and all-new EVs. The dual-mode headlight system with spotlight-type LEDs in the roof above the windshield is a new approach to lighting, as is the lighted outline of the newly shaped large grille that looks to be a new signifying element in upcoming BMW vehicles. The overall roof structure declining into a lower line out back gives the SUV a “coupe-like character” as BMW claims. The 23-inch wheels surrounded by a chiseled wheel arch give optical illusions as does the beltline design that flows upward towards the rear. There’s a lot happening here and BMW wants your attention – they have ours!
To keep things “real”, what we see here is still just a concept, but many elements may make it to production as the interior is a fully functional space that has many familiar traits from current BMW vehicles. Where things tend to change greatly is the choice of materials, such as aged, tanned leather, and carbon-copper weave trim. Other interior elements include a new gauge cluster screen and infotainment touchscreen that both flow with a mimicked size and look, much like you see in current Mercedes-Benz MBUX setups. However, the screens as one large unit are curved for a unique aesthetic. Where things start to really depart from anything we’ve seen before is the rear seating, or backstage area as they call it, that is a luxury oasis fit with a rear bench seat laced with large diamond stitched pattern lower portions of the seatbacks and bottom cushions featuring a petrol fabric. The velvet-like fabric captures your eyes and probably feels plush to the touch. It all looks more Star Trek-ish to us, but we can dig it, because LUXURY and performance!
The new BMW XM will mark the 50th anniversary of BMW Motorsport and we’re sure that will mean this vehicle will be a new pride and joy for BMW to introduce as it is set to begin production here in America at the Spartanburg, SC plant in late 2022. All eyes are on THIS, and we can’t wait to get our hands on one!