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BMW reveals new 653hp XM. Image by BMW.

BMW reveals new 653hp XM
BMW has unveiled the new XM, its first standalone M car since the M1.
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What's all this about?

This is the BMW XM, the first car not to have a direct equivalent in the rest of the BMW line-up since BMWís wedgy seventies supercar, the M1. Built partly to mark the 50th birthday of BMWís Motorsport division, the big SUV is about as far removed from the M1 as can be, though with 653hp from its plug-in hybrid powertrain, itís quite a lot more powerful.

The styling is...

Yeah, but then again, thatís really par for the course these days. For better or worse, itís certainly not forgettable. Emphasising that kidney grille even more is the fact that itís outlined in golden-coloured lighting and back-lit from within too. The lights are a new take on the old twin-headlight design, but perhaps even more noteworthy are those rear lights lifted directly from last yearís XM Concept; theyíre hook-shaped and wrap around to the flared rear wheel arches. Overall, the design is edgier and sportier than the other models in BMWís line-up making it stand-out from the more stately X5 and X7.

What's under the bonnet?

A twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 developing 489hp on its own, though significantly more when the hybrid systemís 194bhp electric motor is taken into account. Combined, both send 653hp and a substantial 800Nm of torque to all four wheels though an eight-speed automatic transmission, allowing the XM to sprint from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds. Itís not all about the power though: thanks to a 27.5kWh battery, thereís a useful electric-only range of just under 55 miles and, with 7.4kW recharging, battery top-ups from empty to full are possible in around four and quarter hours.

What's it like inside?

A little sportier than, say, the X7 or iX, with splashes of Alcantara here and there and a dashboard finished in a carbon-effect surface. The front gets the Curved Display dash layout seen in several of BMWís other models which melds the driverís instrument cluster and central touchscreen into one big, slightly curved screen aimed slightly towards the driver. The front seats are endlessly electrically adjustable and are heated, cooled and feature a massage function. The rear is plenty luxurious too with space for three, but the two heated outer seats designed in such way that the two occupants can face each other over the central armrest (which contains cupholders and slots for smartphones). Four-zone climate control makes sure than all occupants stay comfortable.

How's the practicality?

Behind the rear seats, thereís a useful 527 litres of space, but if that 40:20:40-split rear seat is folded down, the total cargo space expands to a massive 1,820 litres.

XM... Wasn't that a Citroen?

Well remembered. Yes, the XM was a big luxurious old CitroŽn from the nineties, but BMW has an agreement with CitroŽn which allows it to use the naming convention.

Any word on pricing?

UK pricing for the XM starts from £144,980, though thereís an even more powerful version of the XM on the way next year, the Label Red, with 748hp and 1,000Nm of torque. Expect to pay even more for that one.

David Mullen - 22 Sep 2022

2023 BMW MX Reveal. Image by BMW.2023 BMW MX Reveal. Image by BMW.2023 BMW MX Reveal. Image by BMW.2023 BMW MX Reveal. Image by BMW.2023 BMW MX Reveal. Image by BMW.

2023 BMW MX Reveal. Image by BMW.2023 BMW MX Reveal. Image by BMW.2023 BMW MX Reveal. Image by BMW.2023 BMW MX Reveal. Image by BMW.2023 BMW MX Reveal. Image by BMW.    - BMW road tests
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