Defying all standard rules for spelling, when it comes to BMW vehicles a standalone letter M stands for ultimate performance (perhaps it would make more sense as more or most performance). The M version of any BMW model always means voluminous power and impressive on-road and on-track capability. And now the automaker introduces the 2023 BMW XM; the very first M vehicle with a plug. The all-new XM will be the brand’s first M plug-in hybrid, and with almost 650 horsepower it certainly deserves that special letter designation.
With few exceptions, vehicle variants coming from the BMW M division are based on a production model (M2, M3, M5, etc.). However, the XM does not have a non-M counterpart. The brand-new model has styling cues similar to the all-electric iX, although the two vehicles have marked differences. The XM gets a new take on the iconic kidney grille, which gets flanked by extremely slim driving lights with headlights below, deeply integrated into the body.
The BMW XM has a unique look in the German automaker’s lineup with crisp edges and overall chiseled styling. The rear window sits flush with the sheet metal, and slim LED taillights wrap around the rear corners. Stacked quad exhaust outlets are hexagonal in shape, and even the 23-inch M light alloy wheels carry this sharp design.
The 2023 BMW XM features the first M HYBRID system, which begins with a 4.4-liter M TwinPower Turbo V8 engine delivering 483 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque. Integrated with an 8-speed M Steptronic transmission is an electric motor producing 194 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. The total output of this new M HYBRID system is 644 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque — the latter coming on at a mere 1600 rpm for excellent responsiveness. Power gets delivered to the road via the M xDrive all-wheel drive system.
BMW M variants never want for power, but they also are among the best-handling vehicles in the world. To make certain the XM lives up to its M pedigree, BMW engineers gave the new vehicle a rigid body, adaptive M suspension, and a nearly 50/50 weight distribution. The batteries are mounted in the floor to give the XM a lower center of gravity for improved ride and handling. XM also gets an M Sport rear differential that can vary torque between the left and right wheels, with the ability to send more power to the outside wheel in a turn to minimize understeer without the need for braking. Active roll stabilization further improves ride and stability, which helps keep the vehicle flat during high-speed cornering.
According to BMW, the new XM will sprint to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and has a top speed of 168 mph when equipped with the M Driver’s Package. The XM can also travel up to 87 mph on electric power alone, and with a full charge has an expected range of about 30 miles.
Based on our experience, the BMW V8 produces one of the most wonderful sounds to emanate from an exhaust pipe. That said, the new XM can also drive around without the V8 in operation — no V8 roar. BMW makes up for this with IconicSounds Electric, which provides a unique sound delivered to the cabin that corresponds to the acceleration of the vehicle.
It may be all about performance, but M variants always reside atop the BMW lineup, and thus deserve of the most premium, high-tech interiors. The 2023 BMW XM is no exception. The BMW curved display that brings together the infotainment and driver information in one large, curved screen is mounted on matte carbon fiber. High-end materials can be found throughout the cabin, including Merino leather trimming the seats as well as doors and dashboard. The pillars and headliner are swathed in soft Alcantara.
With the introduction of the XM, BMW also announces a new Label series, the first of which being Label Red. The XM Label Red will be a limited edition with unique paint, special wheels, an enhanced interior and a powertrain generating more than 735 horsepower. These Label editions will be exclusive to the XM lineup. The XM Label Red will be available beginning next summer with prices starting above $185,000.
Production of the new 2023 BMW XM begins in the fourth quarter of 2022 at BMW’s Spartanburg plant in South Carolina. The XM’s base MSRP lists at $159,000.