BMW XM Returns to Set New Pikes Peak Record for Hybrid Electric SUVs

posted by  
Filed under Automotive, BMW, News

As hideous as it may look to some, the BMW XM is a beast and can hustle like the business like it did at Pikes Peak to set a new record. After a dramatic crash during the official Pikes Peak Hill Climb event in June, the BMW XM Label has made an incredible comeback, setting a new record for the fastest hybrid electric SUV to conquer the peak. The time clocked was an impressive 10 minutes and 48.60 seconds. It’s worth noting that this achievement is significant, as it represents the fastest hybrid SUV but does not break the overall production SUV record, which currently belongs to the Lamborghini Urus, completing the run in 10 minutes and 32.064 seconds last year.

The BMW XM Label, previously known as XM Label Red, returned to Colorado Springs on September 21 on a redemption journey with support from Rhys Millen Racing. This triumphant return was marked by a certified course run, led by BMW’s performance chief driving instructor, Matt Mullins, who piloted the SUV to successfully conquer the challenging hill climb.

Mullins’ achievement was no small feat, considering the ever-changing conditions as one ascends the mountain. Even in a dedicated race car, these conditions can be challenging to navigate, but the XM Label is a massive SUV with a substantial curb weight exceeding 6,000 pounds. The vehicle that set the record appeared to have undergone modifications for hill climbing, including a stripped interior equipped with a roll cage for added rigidity and a racing bucket seat.

Despite these changes, the powertrain remained unchanged, featuring a potent 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine coupled with a hybrid system, resulting in a staggering 738 horsepower and an equal 738 lb-ft of torque. This makes it the most powerful M car ever produced.

An onboard video captured the thrilling moment, showcasing Mullins skillfully navigating the hybrid SUV through over 150 turns. The journey started at an altitude of 9,390 feet above sea level and culminated at the towering summit of 14,115 feet. BMW has meticulously documented this entire adventure in a two-part YouTube documentary. The first part provided insight into the preparation leading up to the competition and the unfortunate crash, while the second part, recently aired, detailed the inspiring redemption journey of the XM Label and Mullins as they returned for another attempt.

Marcus Casey, Chief Marketing Officer for BMW of North America, expressed his congratulations, stating, “Congratulations to Matt Mullins and the entire team behind our inspiring journey to the top of one of the world’s most difficult and historic hill climbs in the unstoppable BMW XM Label. Pikes Peak is the ultimate proving ground for elite performers, and we are thrilled to be named the fastest hybrid SUV thanks to the world-class pairing of an epic vehicle with an equally impressive driver.”

Traditionally, Pikes Peak records were established exclusively during the Hill Climb event. However, a development last year allowed manufacturers to use the road as a benchmark and record-setting ground, akin to the Nürburgring. While not many have taken advantage of this opportunity so far, we can expect more manufacturers to follow suit in the future, further pushing the boundaries of automotive performance on this iconic hill climb, even for ‘interesting-looking’ SUVs.


You May Also Like


Automotive Manufacturers & Categories