Incredible BMW XM concept pulls no punches

1st December 2021, 10:03am
4 min read
Incredible BMW XM concept pulls no punches

As BMW M coasts to its 50th anniversary, it appears the manufacturer is taking the opportunity to display its bold vision for the next 50 years. We know a new M2 is on the cards, and an M4 CSL is likely, but all the headlines today are about the BMW XM, the latest concept car revealed from BMW M.


The designers of the new concept SUV haven’t put much stock in maintaining BMW’s motorsports heritage with the XM. This is a stunning, bold departure from the past. The production version is due next year.

Raw hybrid power

We know that the powertrain will holdover from the concept to the production version of the XM. It’s a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 paired with a lithium-ion battery and electric motor. BMW says power peaks at a monstrous 739 bhp and 738 lb-ft of torque.

Range figures are more modest, with BMW quoting a 50-mile limit when powered by battery alone. 

It’s unknown whether the production XM will go with coil springs and adaptive dampers like the X5M and X6M or play it safer with an active anti-roll system and air suspension.

Jagged, futuristic design

Most of the discussion must go to the intense design choices of the XM. You can see it’s primarily based on the same architecture as the X5-X7 ranges, but it’s much lower, upright, and broader. As-is, the XM has 23-inch tyres and wheels. 

The grille is enormous, tall, and forward but still manages to be well integrated. The LED daytime running lights are super slim, paired with discrete main units integrated into the grille frames.

From the side, we can see the windscreen is integrated with the short windows through black-out a-pillars. There are two shades of silver paintwork, creating a distinct beltline.

Not to be outdone, the rear of the XM is just as daring. The tail lights snake around the rear quarter, which has a very deep rear window. There’s no rear spoiler or aero, but a stylish and pronounced exhaust system.

The interior is a complex blend of more traditional elements with retro-futuristic panels. The curved dual-screen from the iX SUV makes an appearance here, so it will likely make production.


A bold gambit

BMW M could have released a gracious, deferential tribute to the 50 years of models it has brought us so far. 

Instead, with the XM, the company has pulled out all the stops to show how it aims to remain relevant within the echelons of the SUV marketplace. 

Bold is the fairest adjective to attribute to the XM, and it will undoubtedly get the attention of fans who aren’t so aware of BMW M’s range of cars. Whether that attention is positive or negative is yet to be seen, as the XM is set to be one of the manufacturer’s most polarizing designs.

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Written by Raymond Burrett

Raymond is the quintessential car enthusiast. Motorsports and sports-cars have played a prominent role since a young age. He can now be found tinkering with his Japanese sports cars, at local car meets or out on a track-day.