The BMW XM is a very polarizing vehicle. It seems that most either love it or hate it—there’s not much middle ground. Regardless of your feelings for BMW M’s first standalone M model since the M1, we can agree that it tops the scales in four areas: presence, power, pounds, and price.
Showcasing the model’s presence, the first XM Label Red available for sale in the U.S. certainly drew a crowd at Katie’s Cars and Coffee in Great Falls, Virginia this past Saturday morning. The Head M Product Specialist of BMW of Fairfax arrived in this Frozen Carbon Black example well before sunrise to secure a prime parking spot directly in front of Katie’s Coffee House, where he fielded BMW-related questions from fellow enthusiasts for the duration of the morning. As he’s been a CCA member for the last two decades, serves as a CCA track instructor, and has owned (and tracked) a healthy list of M cars, talking shop with a pro was an enjoyable conversation for many.
BimmerLife reached out to BMW of Fairfax to get more information about the first XM Label Red to hit the streets and their experience showing this beast of a machine at Katie’s. “Most of the feedback we received was positive. We had a lot of people that really just didn’t know what it was, which seems to be a common reaction to the XM. At the show, people were generally stunned and asked about the mechanics below the vehicle’s skin,” says the dealership’s representative.
In the power department, the XM Label Red takes things up a notch over the standard XM with more performance. Its 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 produces an astonishing 748 horsepower and 738 pound feet, partially thanks to a 48-volt mild-hybrid system integrated into the ZF eight-speed transmission, making this the most powerful BMW to date. It’s the same S68 engine shared with other BMW models, like the standard XM, the X7 M60i, and the X5 M60i, but this one is tuned for more power. With a sub four-second run to 60 that Fairfax’s M Product Specialist experienced first hand in a XM Label Red press vehicle, he says, “[The XM Label Red] does a good job of disguising its 6,086-pound weight.”
While 748 horsepower currently gives the XM Label Red the title of most powerful BMW, Fairfax’s M Product Specialist says we can expect even more power out of future S68-equipped M models, like the long-awaited incoming G90 M5. And, yes, we’re expected to get an M5 Touring on U.S. shores!
Less than 500 XM Label Reds are expected to be built, so they’ll be more rare than an M4 CSL which is capped at 1,000 units. Given that BMW of Fairfax has three allocations, those of us in the D.C, area have a better chance of spotting one on the road than most. If you want one, be prepared to fork over the equivalent of nearly nineteen driver-quality E30s. The Frozen Carbon Black example seen here in photos has a price tag of over $189,000.
The XM Label Red wasn’t the only new vehicular juxtaposition seen at Katie’s Cars and Coffee this past weekend. Whereas BMW has given an SUV race-car-level performance, other manufacturers have outfitted their supercars with off-road capabilities. Enthusiasts were surprised to see a Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato, the brand’s factory Safari build made to compete with other off-road supercars like the Porsche 911 Dakar—which, by the way, also showed up at Katie’s a month prior.
Love them or hate them, these vehicles are unique engineering marvels that some may never see or experience in a lifetime. My friend Doug Rodriguez said it best, “It’s so cool that we get to see these special vehicles first-hand at Katie’s.”—Mike Bevels