BMW premiered the striking Concept XM last November, but we have yet to see it at a car show. Visiting the Windy City to check out the plug-in hybrid SUV at the ongoing Chicago Auto Show will end in disappointment. Why? Because the first dedicated M vehicle since the mid-engined M1 is not there. It also skipped last month’s CES in Las Vegas where the iX M60 and a color-changing iX concept stole the show.
With the Geneva Motor Show canceled, it’ll be a while before the electrified SUV will grace an auto show’s stage. Meanwhile, BMW did show the 750-horsepower machine behind closed doors in the United Arab Emirates. Its dealer in Abu Dhabi organized a private event where very few got up close and personal with the radically styled V8 hybrid beast.
The dealership invited only “premium customers” and select members of the press to discover the Concept XM. Abu Dhabi Motors touts it as the “most extravagant BMW yet,” which is something we can all easily agree with. The closed-room viewing was organized on February 6, but the adjacent photos and video were released on social media earlier today.
The Concept XM looks as polarizing as it did when we first saw it a few months ago. We are still anxious to see how the overly angular design will make the transition to the production model. Also of great interest is the split headlight layout since the next-generation 7 Series and X7 facelift will adopt a similar look.
Expect Three XM Flavors
The final version will premiere in the coming months as production will commence at the Spartanburg factor by late 2022. Upon launch, the only version available will reportedly combine the new “S68” V8 with an electric motor. Doing so will dethrone the M5 CS as the most powerful production BMW by matching the concept’s muscle. BMW is allegedly planning to launch lesser models some 12 months later, one with 600 hp and the other with 650 hp. All three might share the powertrain, but in different states of tune.
The “XM” name will be retained, although BMW is apparently adding a Red Label suffix to the entry-level trim. The midrange model is supposedly going to be called Black Label, while the top dog will be sold as the XM Competition.[Source: BMW Abu Dhabi Motors / Instagram]