Sunday, November 27, 2022

BMW's heaviest hybrid supercrossover comes with an even bigger grille


BMW M is entering a new era with the introduction of the XM super-crossover, the first Bavarian plug-in hybrid. The novelty differs from the usual “emoks” not only in a powerful gasoline-electric power plant: XM has non-standard design solutions and a unique naming of the top version. The BMW XM also became the first autonomous model of the M division in almost 45 years, because the 5.1-meter crossover does not have and will not have “ordinary” analogues.

The serial version of the BMW XM largely repeated last year's prototype: there are many differences in the nuances, but the general concept has been preserved. Of the noticeable simplifications - traditional door handles, by no means "secret" headlights and lanterns of a less sophisticated form. The XM is comparable in size to the X7: the wheelbase of the crossovers is the same (3105 millimeters), but the super hybrid is four centimeters shorter, half a centimeter wider and five centimeters lower.

Continuity with the previous unique development of BMW M - the M1 sports car of the late 1970s - is achieved through laser-etched logos on opposite sides of the rear wing. An unexpected design decision - a bet on golden elements. The upper edge of the windows, window sill line, grille trim, diffuser elements and spokes of optional 23-inch wheels are made in contrast.

The BMW XM charging hatch is located in the front left fender and is exposed, as if reminiscent of an unusual power plant. Under the hood is a modified 4.4-liter V8 with the S68 index (489 forces, 650 Nm), which works in conjunction with a 196-horsepower (280 Nm) electric motor built into the 8-speed “automatic” and an all-wheel drive system with a clutch in the drive front axle. Peak output - 652 horsepower and 800 Nm, which allows the new product to be called the most powerful production model of the M family.

Dynamic performance is by no means a record: from standstill to 100 kilometers per hour, the BMW XM accelerates in 4.3 seconds, the maximum speed is 250 or 270 kilometers per hour (with the M Driver`s package). The unofficial Emok flagship turned out to be slower than the non-hybrid X5 M / X6 M with the prefix Competition, and this is not surprising, because the curb weight of the novelty is as much as 2750 kilograms. However, BMW did not hide the fact that the XM will be the heaviest model in history.

There are three things that may please BMW fans. First, the XM hybrid is equipped with a battery with an effective capacity of 25.7 kilowatt-hours, which will allow you to drive up to 88 kilometers on the WLTP cycle without starting the internal combustion engine. Secondly, fuel consumption in the combined cycle of a fully charged crossover will not exceed 1.6 liters per 100 kilometers. Thirdly, the promised 745-horsepower Red Label top version with a torque of under 1000 Nm is on the way - it should not only be heavy, but also fast.

Other positives include an ideal 50:50 static weight distribution, a fully steerable chassis, a suspension with active anti-roll bars unique to the emos, and a very luxurious interior. In terms of architecture, everything is very similar to the updated X7: almost the same door cards, a similar iDrive 8 multimedia system, identical front panel and central tunnel. "Emka" is distinguished only by a fixed transmission joystick, decor and finishing materials.

The show car is adorned with coffee-colored leather and dark blue nappa, and not only the contour lighting, but also a hundred LEDs in the “sculptural” ceiling are responsible for the atmosphere in the cabin. Interestingly, genuine leather is chosen for the XM, rather than an artificial vegan substitute. An important nuance is the layout according to the 2 + 3 scheme: the third row is not provided in principle.

Assembly of the BMW XM will begin before the end of the year at the American plant of the brand. The base crossover will cost $160,000, while the 745-horsepower version will ask for $185,000, and you will have to pay extra for personalization of the interior, 23-inch wheels and special decor. By comparison, the BMW X6 M costs $114,000 in the United States, while a comparable three-row X7 M60i can be purchased for $103,000.


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