Munich: BMW is not quite ready to pull the covers off its new XM SUV flagship, and given the controversy surrounding some of its recent designs some might say that’s a good thing.
However, the German carmaker has released a few technical details, confirming that this will be its most powerful production model ever. This is also the second product in history, after the M1, to be fully designed by BMW’s M division.
On offer here is a petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain that combines a newly-developed V8 petrol engine with an electric drive system to deliver 480kW and 800Nm. The new plug-in hybrid set-up will also allow an electric-only range of around 80km, BMW says.
Power goes to all four wheels through the company’s first hybrid-specific M xDrive all-wheel drive system, which is said to be extremely spontaneous.
"Electrification gives us new opportunities to demonstrate that unmistakable M feeling in a fascinating way and transfer it to the road,” says Franciscus van Meel, Chairman of the BMW M Board of Management.
“Regardless of their drive technology, our performance and high-performance cars will continue to possess an unmistakable and authentic M character in the future."
As you’d expect, the BMW XM will also boast perfect 50:50 axle-load distribution. The mode-specific Adaptive M Professional suspension system also includes an electromechanical roll stabilising system featuring 48-volt technology. With the additional Active Roll Comfort function, it reduces rolling movements due to uneven road surfaces on one side, and actively adjusts the body height on the corresponding side of the vehicle.
While being an undeniably sporty vehicle, the BMW XM has also been tuned to offer excellent comfort on long-distance journeys.
The pre-production vehicle that you see in the pictures is currently undergoing final road testing to ensure that it delivers the right dynamic capabilities on all surfaces.
“The experienced developers aboard the pre-production model accurately record how the suspension systems react to ruts, bumps or dirty stretches of road and how confidently sudden changes of direction, spontaneous lane changes or long downhill stretches with high deceleration requirements are mastered,” BMW said.
“As part of the integrated application of all drive and suspension systems, their fine-tuning ensures that the combustion engine and electric motor as well as all suspension components and control systems of the BMW XM constitute a perfectly coordinated overall package for a new form of typical M performance.”
Like most BMW X models, the XM will be produced at the Spartanburg factory in South Carolina, USA, with production set to commence in December this year.