The automobile market these days is eccentric. The popular Dodge Hellcat has been frustrated, automakers are turning their fleet into electric vehicles with limited demand, and Ford’s entry-level vehicles are pickup trucks.
BMW’s M Performance Division is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an electrified Super Ute.
The second standalone M car in the category, the BMW XM SUV, is far from the original legendary mid-engined 1979 M1 supercar. As a sign of the times, BMW’s most powerful car in the 2020s will be the sports utility model with a plug-in hybrid powertrain under the hood.
The 750 horsepower BMW XM debuted this week with super-sized power, body stamping and a twin kidney grille visible from space. BMW called the x-otically designed XM a concept car, but it seems to be close to the shape of Finis, as production will begin in just 12 months at an automaker’s assembly plant in Spartanberg, South Carolina.
As the times change, XM bows at the Miami Beach Exhibition at the International Art Basel Show. Automakers are looking for new ways to debut their products beyond traditional car shows. XM was presented with a special musical performance by Grammy-winning hip-hop artist Naz, next to a sculpture created by Brooklyn-based artist Kennedy Yanko on this occasion.
“Art Basel in Miami Beach is a great opportunity to launch the BMW Concept XM, which is a different product than ever manufactured,” said Uwe Dreher, marketing boss at BMW North America. “This unique concept car is a perfect match for the expressive artwork of our partner artists, emphasizing the BMW Group’s commitment to supporting culture and art.”
BMW surprised the world of automobiles with the M1 designed in Italy in 1978. This is a mid-engined cyborg that has ushered in the era of BMW’s M performance. The M1 was produced in limited numbers — only 453 units were built to authorize it for international racing — but it became the father of the German manufacturer’s signature performance badge. The M division has been very successful and is influencing similar product strategies from competitors such as Cadillac (V Series badge), Mercedes (AMG) and Audi (S line).
The generation of Helion, fed with steroids and M-badges, continues, with the M3 and M4 performance cars being the most iconic. However, as the world turned to four-wheel drive SUVs, BMW found a vast new market for utes with M badges, despite inherently inferior handling compared to lower sedans.
So, for the 50th time of Bimah, the XM Super SUV jumped out of the birthday cake.
XM will also introduce the first plug-in hybrid drivetrain for the M badge. It combines battery-powered functionality with the brand’s traditional twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 gas engine. The XM can be quietly cruised up to 30 miles on battery power. Alternatively, with a total gas and electricity torque of 737 pound-foot, you can step your right leadfoot and rocket out of the stoplight. The XM outperforms other Super Utes such as the Lamborghini Urus (641 hp), the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat (710) and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid (670).
However, unlike sedans with M badges, they may not be seen on truck days.
“The BMW Concept XM represents a complete re-imagination of the high-performance car segment,” said Franciscus van Meal, chief of the M division. “This highlights the ability of BMW M to break established practices … and also shows how we are working on the gradual electrification of our brand.”
The BMW brand is challenged by EV maker Tesla. The US-based automaker Model 3 outperformed all other luxury models in 2020. The 206,500 units sold are more than 3: 1 higher than the BMW X3.
With a wheelbase similar to BMW’s largest SUV, the X7, the XM wraps its performance in one of the most angled SUV designs on this side of the Lamborghini Urus.
The giant, oxygenated anterior kidney (covered by horizontal slats) sets a bold design tone dominated by outer and inner polygons. Headlights and taillights have been reduced to spare strips, with Pentagon wheel wells (above the giant 23-inch wheels), square exhaust pipes, hexagonal air vents, and even hexagonal seat headrest cutouts for styling. Define. Dividing the polygon is a twin BMW Roundel logo on the rear glass commemorating the original M1 supercar.
The two-tone paint scheme finishes the upper body with matt gold bronze — the lower body of Space Gray Metallic. A glossy black border called a “black belt” separates the two colors.
Underneath the small greenhouse is an all-digital cockpit wrapped in premium leather, copper and carbon fiber.
A curved display screen dominates the dashboard, extending from behind the steering wheel over the center console. The system is operated by BMW’s familiar remote i-Drive controller. Behind the driver-focused cockpit is the rear “M Lounge” seat, isolated by black-tinted windows and decorated with “deep aquamarine shade petrol,” as opposed to the brown leather on the front.
The headliner is decorated with an artistic 3D prism structure, reflecting the display of the nearby Art Basel Gallery. The new SUV will be on display for a week at the Miami Convention Center.
Mass-produced models of the BMW XM will be manufactured at the BMW Group Plant Spartanberg in the United States from the end of 2022.
Within the cockpit area of the BMW Concept XM is a decorative surface made of carbon fiber interwoven with copper threads.
The times are changing with BMW’s wild 750 horse XM Super Ute
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