BMW M’s first purpose-built SUV model has finally landed in Singapore, and apart from its size, its price is making a huge splash, too.
This is the first time that a brand-new BMW has a recommended retail price that exceeds $1 million – we have the latest ARF revisions to thank for that.
The high-performance SUV was unveiled to the media at ONE°15 Marina Sentosa Cove on 30 March 2023. The XM is the second full production car to be built independently by BMW’s M division since the BMW M1 in 1978.
That also makes the XM the first bespoke M car to be built from the ground-up in 45 years.
The XM is the first bespoke M car to be electrified, too. As a plug-in hybrid, the XM has a 25.7kWh battery and a pure electric range of 88km. BMW says it can be driven at up to 140km/h in EV mode, too.
Worth noting is that an all-new M Hybrid drive system was created specifically for the car. The powertrain sees a 4.4-litre V8 engine paired with an electric motor derived from BMW’s fifth generation eDrive.
Total output from the V8 and electric drive system stands at an incredible 644bhp and 800Nm of torque. Mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and boasting a rear-biased M xDrive all-wheel-drive system, the XM completes the century sprint in 4.3 seconds, and can hit an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
Most impressive is that it does this despite having a kerb weight upwards of 2700kg, which makes it the heaviest M car BMW has ever made. In terms of driving dynamics, a standard M Sport differential helps to distribute drive torque between the left and right rear wheels in a fully variable manner for better grip and cornering capability.
DESIGNED FOR MODERN BUYERS
BMW says the car was “made for those who are unconventional, courageous [and] expressive”, and upon laying your eyes on it, you’d be hard pressed not to agree. Sharp angles and hexagons abound on its sheet metal, and intricate details come together for an overall design that aims to turn the heads of all on the road.
For instance, the large twin kidney grilles can be optioned with gold surrounds and feature bold horizontal louvres on which the “XM” badge is proudly tacked. Large air intakes on the front apron also help to direct airflow towards cooling the car’s drive system, transmission, and brakes.
The split headlights reserved for BMW’s flagship models also show up on the XM. Daytime running lights frame the top of its face, while the headlights are found underneath, almost hidden under angled structures in the fascia.
“Accent bands” curved around the Hofmeister kink of the XM’s D-pillars, can be optioned once more in either black or gold. The XM also gets massive 23-inch tyres with M-light alloys proudly displaying “BMW” lettering on them, behind which you’ll find brightly coloured M Sport brakes.
Interestingly, the rear end eschews the white and blue BMW badge. Instead, small logos are laser etched onto the two upper corners of the rear window as a subtle homage to the M1, while “XM” lettering makes an appearance once again on the tailgate.
The sculpted tail-lights are covered with dark lens covers, the three diagonal light strips on the flanks are supposed to reference BMW M. The new quad exhausts are vertically rather than horizontally stacked.
The XM’s interior is even larger than the X7’s. For that extra touch of luxury, the diamond quilting flows seamlessly from the door panels into the rear bench.
Three-dimensional prism-like shapes are also found on the Alcantara headliner and are accented by ceiling-mounted ambient lighting.
The cockpit features BMW’s Curved Display and latest Operating System 8. Other special touches include the gear lever and seatbelts with stitching in the iconic M colours, and “XM” embossed onto the front headrests.
As expected, the M1 and M2 buttons that instantly recall your configured drive modes, are present. Joining these is the brand-new M Hybrid button, which lets drivers select between three drive settings – including an all-electric mode.
A bolder and brasher XM Label Red, boasting an even more manic 738bhp and 1000Nm of torque, is expected to arrive in Singapore in Q4 2023.
BMW has cautioned, however, that the car will be available in “very, very limited numbers”.
This article was first published in Sgcarmart.