We had the opportunity to drive a BMW XM prototype earlier this year, but the automaker hid the design under a full-body camouflage wrap. The performance SUV is scheduled to enter production before the end of the year, but we’re still waiting for the official debut, which could happen soon.
BMW is already teasing the model on its consumer website, showing off the SUV’s thin daytime running light elements and an illuminated kidney grille. The lone teaser image drapes the rest of the XM in shadow, concealing the SUV’s finer styling details.
Gallery: 2023 BMW XM Prototype: First Drive
Powering the XM will be a plug-in hybrid powertrain that pairs an electric motor with BMW’s new 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged S68 V8 engine. It will deliver 644 horsepower (485 kilowatts) and 650 pound-feet (884 Newton-meters) of torque. The XM Concept arrived with a 750-hp (551-kW) powertrain, and BMW will offer close to that amount of power in the XM Black Label that will launch after the regular XM. The hotter XM should produce around 737 lb-ft (1,000 Nm) of torque.
BMW will pair the powertrain with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid setup should deliver between 30-50 miles of all-electric range. BMW could even offer a less-powerful entry-level version that puts a six-cylinder hybrid system under the hood. Helping with handling is rear-axle steering, a first for an M product. It offers up to 2.5 degrees of steering and is only available below 25 miles per hour (40 kilometers per hour) or above 100 mph (160 kph). The SUV’s 23-inch wheels limit the SUV’s rear steering capability.
While BMW plans for production to begin before the end of the year, it won’t start appearing in showrooms until early 2023. We don’t know what BMW has planned for the XM’s lifecycle, but we do know that the automaker plans to discontinue production in November of 2027. It’s unclear what will replace it or if there will be a replacement at all. BMW is celebrating 50 years of its M performance division in 2022, and this is the second model ever produced by the brand.