New BMW Concept XM previews sporty XM production car due in 2022

The new BMW Concept XM hints at a sporty V8 plug-in hybrid production SUV

Electrification has already started to spread to the world of performance, and BMW is embracing it with its new Concept XM, a plug-in hybrid prototype that previews a high-performance petrol-electric production SUV that we’ll see in 2022.

The series model will be called XM, and BMW has confirmed that the new machine will be available exclusively in M guise, making it the first standalone M model since the firm’s M1 in the division’s 50th anniversary year. The XM will be the first electrified model in the high-performance segment.

The Concept XM is powered by a newly developed M Hybrid drive system that comprises a turbocharged V8 engine and an electric motor, together delivering a total of 739bhp and 1,000Nm of torque; the eventual production model will offer a power and torque output in this region.

BMW hasn’t yet revealed specifics on the concept car’s battery size, but it has confirmed that an all-electric zero-emissions range of up to 50 miles will be possible. For reference, its current large plug-in hybrid SUV, the X5 xDrive45e, offers up to 54 miles of claimed range from its 24kWh battery, which feeds a 111bhp electric motor.

If the Concept XM and XM production car were to use the 626bhp 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 from the brand’s M5 CS supersaloon, these two figures would total 737bhp, putting it close to Concept XM’s stats. The car’s charging port is located on the front wing, and the production XM could feature rapid charging for faster top-ups when it makes its debut next year.

The new sporty SUV concept also previews BMW’s “progressive” next-generation styling language for its luxury models, with trademark oversized kidney grilles that feature horizontal bars within them, plus a new XM logo. Heavy creases flow back from the grille onto the high bonnet, similar in concept to the lines on the M3 and M4 models.

The grille is flanked by a pair of ultra-slim headlight units that have been split up into two separate modules on each side, with an angular bumper lower down. Squared-off plastic-clad wheelarches give the Concept XM a rugged look, while the roof height is low, and the glass house has been kept shallow to give this higher-riding off-roader sporty proportions.

Towards the rear the slightly tapered roof features a deep cut-out, while the tailgate is small and the bumper big. The latter features a large diffuser-style insert and quad exhaust pipes in two stacked pairs. The taillights reflect the headlight design, with thin LED bars that run from the rear wings onto the boot lid.

Inside, the Concept XM takes elements already seen in the firm’s flagship iX electric SUV and develops them further with a sporty twist in what the brand says is an “M interpretation of a driver-focused cockpit”.

The gently curved infotainment screen from the iX features, with an M-specific version of BMW’s iDrive operating system that includes displays for the hybrid system and the pure-electric driving mode. Touches such as red accents on the steering wheel and a trio of elements in the centre console picked out in M colours highlight the car’s sporting intent.

BMW says that brown leather, copper and carbon fibre “create a bridge between luxury and motorsport” with distinct trim separation sectioning off the different areas of the car’s cabin.

In the rear, BMW’s “M Lounge” is in contrast to the sportier front seats, with the rear bench picked out in ‘Petrol’ diamond-quilted velvet upholstery. The seat uppers and head restraints are trimmed in black leather.

To match the funky upholstery, BMW has created an illuminated sculptural headlining that, when lit, offers a three-dimensional form, with the ambient lighting possible in BMW’s M colours.

Expect some of this concept’s design elements to be toned down when we see the production-ready XM in 2022, but many of the car’s exterior styling features will make it to production on the brand’s rival to the Aston Martin DBX, Lamborghini Urus and Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT. Prices for the luxurious production model could start from £120,000.

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