We’re nine days away from seeing the production version of the long-awaited BMW XM, so BMW decided to build more excitement and tease us with a new video.
On Tuesday, September 27th at 6:01 p.m. EST, we’ll get to make “first contact” with the production XM, BMW’s first standalone M model since the M1, and see just how different it is from the concept we were introduced to last November. Over the last ten months we’ve learned quite a bit about the forthcoming XM both from BMW and various insiders.
Power and Performance
Powered by BMW’s new S68 engine, the XM will fall under the plug-in hybrid category. The S68, a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8, utilizes an electric motor in the transmission to increase power and torque when called upon. We’re expecting two trim levels of XM: a base with 650 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque, and an over-the-top performance version with 750 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. Estimates put 0-60 times in the 3.2-second range.
Driving Experience and Handling
In May of this year, a number of automotive outlets had the opportunity to test drive the XM Prototype. There have been concerns about the XM’s weight since 7 Series G70 project manager Christoph Fagschlunger said that the XM will be BMW’s heaviest vehicle, putting estimates just shy of 6,000 pounds. Fortunately, BMW hides this weight with four-wheel steering and a very low center of gravity. Additionally, the XM will use the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system, including the electronically controlled differential lock in the rear axle transmission, which should do wonders for pointing the rather-large XM in the direction you’d like to go. Large M brakes can repeatedly stop the XM with confidence. I’m sure the huge amounts of power and torque also do wonders for making the XM feel nimble.
Three driving modes are expected: hybrid, electric, and e-control (which holds battery charge at a certain level). In electric mode, a 50-mile range is expected. Based on reports of the S68 engine’s hybrid performance in other vehicles, we expect the electric motor integrated with the transmission to produce over 200 pound-feet of additional torque when driving in sport mode.
Based on the XM Concept and camouflaged XM Prototype, you can see where BMW is going with styling. Their concept vehicles haven’t been too far off the production vehicles, so what you’ve seen is likely what you should expect to get.
The XM will go into production at the Spartanburg, South Carolina plant later this year with orders being delivered in the first half of 2023. Prices are expected to start in the upper $100,000s. The clock’s ticking and it will be exciting to see if BMW’s XM team has any surprises up their sleeves for the unveiling on September 27th. —Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of BMW.]