Driving report BMW XM: clean provocation

It stands there like a cathedral, drawn with sharp and rough lines, a provocation on wheels and yet coherent: The BMW XM, new top off-road vehicle and at the same time the first independent model from M GmbH since the legendary M1.

From this he inherited the two separate BMW logos, which are laser engraved into the upper edge of the rear window. A brutal accent stripe wraps around the side window graphic; This element is available in gold and black, with which its effect can be softened or emphasized boldly, depending on the exterior color. And even as standard, the XM comes with 275 tires at the front and 315 tires at the rear – mounted on 21-inch rims. Up to 23 inches are on offer.

The martial appearance on the outside corresponds to an opulently designed interior. While the steering wheel still seems relatively conventional and the instrumentation similar to that of other BMW types, the designers were able to realize their full potential with the seats, roof lining and the materials used.

The illuminated roof made of fine Alcantara presents itself as a prismatic structure, the rear seat nestles into the side wall, perfectly matched cushions are available for an extra charge. The whole thing looks most impressive in “Deep Lagoon”, an intense turquoise blue with brown accent areas. Then the interior explodes in colour.

At the moment there is only one engine variant: a V8 with a displacement of 4.4 liters, coupled with an electric motor, resulting in a total output of an impressive 480 kW/653 hp. The XM, which weighs more than 2.7 tons, storms from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds, the top speed is 250 km/h, 270 km/h are possible for an extra charge. The whole thing is accompanied by a gently rumbling carpet of sound – at least when the V8 is active. The XM can also drive purely electrically, at least up to 140 km/h and (at a lower speed) a maximum of 90 kilometers.

In the hybrid modes, the transition from electric operation to the combustion engine is smooth and only slightly delayed; you can also run the V8 permanently. The power delivery is powerful but not brutal, it still leaves room for improvement. And BMW will also fill that with the already announced Label Red version, 550 kW/748 hp and then probably up to 290 km/h fast.

There could also be an entry-level model with an in-line six-cylinder later, but unfortunately no diesel. One thing is clear: All XM are plug-in hybrids – so that its impressive face can also push into cities with entry restrictions for classic combustion engines.

The XM is surprisingly agile on country roads, the weight is perfectly compensated, all-wheel steering makes it even more agile and more stable in the upper speed range. At the same time, the XM is a very comfortable car, predestined for long distances. The parameters of steering, chassis and drive can be adjusted in small parts; it’s fun to delve into those details.

Incidentally, anyone who is bothered by the dominant design language and the dimensions of this SUV should be told that it is one of the cleanest vehicles currently on the market. However, we still don’t expect the climate stickers to erupt in storms of enthusiasm. (cen/jm)


Length x width x height (m): 5.11 x 2.01 x 1.76
Wheelbase (m): 3.11
Drive: 4.4-liter V8, plug-in hybrid, all-wheel drive
Total power: 480 kW / 653 hp
Top speed: 250 or 270 km/h (limited)
Acceleration 0 to 100 km/h: 4.3 s
Average consumption: 1.4 l/100 km
CO2 emissions: 30.1 g/km
Curb weight (EU)/ payload: min. 2785 kg / max. 590 kg
Price: 178,000 euros

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