This week, the BMW USA Twitter account teased the public with a render of the upcoming XM concept showing the vehicle shrouded in shadows with just its lights and illuminated grille surrounds visible for context. The Tweet contained a hashtag for BMW M, and also tagged the account of Art Basel, the Miami Beach art fair scheduled for next month where we might see the entire concept unveiled.
More details about the XM concept have been coming to light over the past few months, including the upcoming production model’s potential use of a new BMW V8 engine with up to 650 horsepower, along with a performance hybrid variant also on the horizon that may offer even more. Like other BMW X SAVs and SACs, the XM is likely to be produced at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina, and seems as though it combines the proportions of the X7‘s chassis with a sloping roofline not unlike the X4, X6, and iX, but with a specific tilt towards performance.
Although little is known about its actual design beyond what can be gleaned from shots of pre-production prototypes draped in camouflage taken in traffic, the teaser shot shared by BMW on Twitter shows a prominent set of kidney grilles which dominate the front end in terms of real estate. The edges of the grilles are also illuminated, and are flanked by slim headlights which give the front end of the XM concept a squinted look that is aggressive in its presentation. Additional light sources are also visible at the upper corners of where the A-pillars meet the roof, the latter of which also looks to have an aerodynamic design.
Earlier this year in an interview with CNBC Auto Analyst Phil LeBeau, BMW CEO Oliver Zipse confirmed that the automaker will commence production of a new model at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in 2022. Following the timeline of other recent BMW vehicle concepts and production models, this would indicate that the XM (or perhaps X8) would arrive ahead of 2023 model year. While the X5 can be had with optional third-row seats, and the X7 comes standard with them, a potential XM or X8 would likely be offered with two rows of seating. On the same coin, although the highest-performing X7 is the Alpina XB7 with 612 horsepower, the XM may be BMW M’s first modern standalone model.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]