Munich - BMW's design chief Domagoj Dukec has made it abundantly clear that the German carmaker is not afraid of those who criticise its increasingly large grilles. And with the new BMW XM Concept, the design team is well and truly throwing down the gauntlet.
BMW says the new concept previews the frontal design of forthcoming luxury-class models, but it’s also a foretaste of a new XM flagship SUV that will be the first standalone M division model since the BMW M1 of the 1970s.
The BMW XM production model will also be the first electrified M car and, on top of that, the most powerful ever, the carmaker says. The concept is powered by a hybrid powertrain that pairs a V8 engine with a high-performance electric motor to produce system outputs of 550kW and 1000Nm.
Furthermore, owners will be able to plug it in to achieve a claimed all-electric range in the region of 80km.
“The BMW Concept XM represents a complete re-imagining of the high-performance car segment,” BMW CEO Franciscus van Meel said. “It underlines the ability of BMW M GmbH to break with established conventions and push boundaries in order to offer fans of the brand the ultimate driving experience.
“The series-production car also shows how we are approaching the step-by-step electrification of our brand.”
The BMW XM Concept also pushes the boundaries of interior design with an all-new rear compartment design that aims to provide occupants with something resembling a “luxurious retreat”. It features a large rear seat bench with deep seat recesses and velvet upholstery with diamond quilting. Also rather intriguing is the “sculptural” headliner, boasting a 3D prism structure that combines direct and indirect lighting to create an artistic effect.
The cockpit area is also rather different to anything we’ve seen so far from the Bavarian brand. It features a large curved display that combines the digital instrument cluster and infotainment system. The iDrive system also boasts M-specific graphics, showcased in the familiar trio of M colours, and it also visualises the modes of the hybrid system with “captivating aesthetic appeal”.
But when is it coming? The BMW XM production model will be built at the company’s Spartanburg plant in the USA from late 2022 onwards, likely hitting most world markets during the course of 2023.