The styling of the brand-new BMW XM is dividing people. You either love it or you hate it. After seeing it in the metal at the local launch in Franschhoek in the Western Cape, I can confidently say I absolutely love it. It is something to behold. You know just by looking at it that it is something special. And special it really is. This is the first completely bespoke M car since the M1, which was around in the late ‘70s. The XM has been built from the ground up. It is BMW’s first-ever electrified M high-performance model. This means SUV luxury combined with sports car performance and the latest in hybrid technology.
Let’s kick this off with a few things that make the BMW XM so extraordinary. This bullish beast is powered by a 4.4-litre V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo. It spits out an unbelievable 480 kW of power and 800 Nm of torque. This means that it will get you to 100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds. Bearing in mind that this is a rather big-boned fella weighing in at around 2.8 tonnes, so getting it to move quickly is no easy feat.
What makes it all even more remarkable is that there is an electric motor in the mix which allows you to drive in pure electric mode up to 90 Km. As much as I want to say that you will save on fuel, and BMW will have you believe you’ll see a consumption of 2.7l/100 km, I got a reading closer to 15 l/100km. Then again, I was driving it like I stole it, so you will be able to get lower than what I got just be being a tad more mindful. But when you’re driving such a brute, I am not sure you are going to want to hold back. Think of it as a challenge.
Exclusive M Lounge
If you prefer to live more like a celebrity and be driven around, instead of driving it yourself, the XM offers an exclusive M Lounge in the rear that consists of heated backrests extending into the sides of the rear of the compartment, which basically means you can sit comfortable with your back angled toward the door and your head toward the other passenger – so no stiff necks due to gripping conversation. Look up and you will be wowed by the sculptural ceiling which has a three-dimensional prism structure, photo mount-style border and 100 LED units for illumination. As you enter the car, the M colours scroll along that border, it is quite something. But you get to choose from an array of colours for the ambient lighting.
If this is all still too tame for your liking, not to worry, BMW has you covered. This XM may be the most powerful SUV on the market, for now, but BMW is bringing an even quicker model to SA. It’s called the Label Red and only five will be arriving. This model boasts crazy performance numbers like 550 kW and 1 000 Nm. You will get to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds.
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There is so much more to the XM, but it is one of those you-need-to-see-it-to-believe-it kind of things. Now, if I could just find R3.4 million for the standard XM, I can start saving for the Label Red. I’ve got a few more articles to write before I get anywhere close to this sort of stature.
Juliet McGuire is South Africa’s leading female motoring journalist. She’s been a motoring journalist for the past 14 years and she is here to help you make an informed decision when buying a car.