BMW raised the curtain on Tuesday for a powerful plug-in hybrid SUV intended to lure buyers from the ultra-luxury segment Lamborghini Urus and Aston Martin DBX.
The BMW XM full-size SUV is the first electrified model to carry the brand’s racetrack-ready M badge. The 644 horsepower crossover starts at just under $160,000 and also ranks as the most powerful and expensive vehicle in BMW’s portfolio, aside from certain limited editions.
When it hits the market early next year, the five-passenger crossover will be BMW M’s first-ever high-performance car to feature an electrified powertrain. Its price and performance chops position it to compete in the burgeoning ultra-luxury SUV segment and provide a cheaper alternative to the Lamborghini Urus, Aston Martin DBX, Bentley Bentayga and the future Ferrari Purosangue.
Equipped with a 483-hp V8 engine and a 194-hp electric motor, the XM costs less and delivers more power than the standard 641-hp Urus, 443-hp Bentayga or 542-hp Aston Martin DBX. And it’s not far behind the Purosangue, which will deliver 715 horsepower, although it’s less than half the price.
The M HYBRID system, which will serve as the basis for BMW’s future hybrid plug-ins, can travel up to 30 miles on a fully charged battery before receiving power from the gas engine, according to BMW’s preliminary tests based on the standards of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The SUV accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 mph. Models equipped with the M Driver’s Package can travel up to 168 mph.
Among its other superlatives, the SUV is arguably the brand’s most spacious: With just two rows of seats spread over a wheelbase roughly as long as the three-row BMW X7, the XM offers passengers an above-average head, elbow, and arm rest. legroom. The SUV comes with BMW’s M xDrive all-wheel drive and 23-inch wheels, the largest standard wheels in the carmaker’s lineup.
The 2023 XM will go into production later this year at BMW’s Spartanburg plant, South Carolina. A more expensive version, the BMW XM Label Red, is expected next year.