BMW reveals monstrous new performance SUV, the XM

Lionel Kong

BMW M’s new performance SUV packs 650hp of hybrid power with a turbo V8, arrives in Singapore in 2023


Forget about the BMW iX and i7 for a moment, this car here is the one that BMW states is the highlight of its 2022 product range.

BMW’s M Division is commemorating its 50th anniversary this year, and the new BMW XM, featuring a new M Hybrid drive system, is an all-new model designed specially to mark the occasion. 

The car will come to Singapore next year – full deets at the end of our story.

Initial impressions are that the BMW XM is everything that is now trending about automobiles crammed into one package. It’s a very big plug-in hybrid SUV, with mainline propulsion coming from a 4.4-litre turbo V8 petrol engine. This alone has a power output of 489 horsepower. Stacked on top of this is an electric drive system capable of 197 horsepower. 

Together they give the car a combined output of 653 horsepower, and a maximum torque output of 800Nm. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels.

It defaults to a rear-biased drive setup that BMW says is particularly noticeable in 4WD Sport mode. Drivers can also select 4WD Sand mode, which helps the car move over very loose, slippery offorad surfaces. 

On tarmac, the benchmark 0 to 100km/h sprint is dashed off in 4.3 seconds and the official fuel economy is an incredible 1.6l/100km.

Of note is the fact that the BMW XM is the brand’s first original M car since the BMW M1 coupe from 1978. That is, the XM is not built upon a pre-existing model series as is the case with cars like M3 and M5

Inside the car, the M Hybrid button on the centre console is used to select one of three operating modes, including the EV setting for cruising with zero local emissions at speeds of up to 140 km/h. BMW claims that the car can operate on batteries alone for up to 88 km as measured on the WLTP cycle. The 25.7 kWh lithium ion battery housed in the XM is almost as big as that in a Mini Cooper Electric, and while not being recharged by the V8 on the go it allows for direct AC charging at up to 7.4 kW.

When maximum attack is required the V8 fires up with all the authority that you can expect from a large displacement turbo engine. The sports exhaust system features electronically controlled, continuously adjustable flaps and hexagonal dual tailpipes arranged one above the other. 

The traditional exhaust note can be combined with BMW IconicSounds Electric, the suite of suitably appropriate EV noises to convey the car’s sense of immense power. If the Sport or Sport Plus setting is selected while the drive system is operating in HYBRID mode, a boost sound will underline the electrical assistance being provided to the combustion engine.

A BMW XM Label Red edition will be added to the model range in autumn 2023. It will be the most powerful road-legal series-produced car in the history of BMW M with a total power output of  748 hp and maximum system torque of 1,000 Nm. That’s all we know about that for now, as the XM Label Red is still in the early stages of development.

The XM may have been earmarked to commemorate BMW M’s 50th anniversary which happens in 2022, but production of the car will only get underway at BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in the USA in December 2022, before it arrives at dealers worldwide in spring 2023. Key sales markets for this hulking SUV will be the USA, China and the Middle East. BMW Asia has confirmed that it is negotiating to have a limited number available for sale in Singapore in the first half of 2023, but it is still too early to set specification and pricing details. 

We take the electric BMW iX out on a drive, in search of food!


5-seater bmw BMW M PHEV SUV XM

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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