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2023 BMW XM teaser previews the M division’s first plug-in hybrid system

The 2023 BMW XM has been teased ahead of its official debut and the spotlight has been put on the M division’s first plug-in hybrid powertrain. It takes a new V8 engine and couples it with an electric motor for a combined output of 644 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. BMW didn’t reveal the battery size but based on the 80-km all-electric range (around 30 miles in the EPA cycle), it’s likely somewhere in the ballpark of 15 to 25 kWh. The XM also gets a hybrid-specific M-tuned xDrive AWD system, which also includes an electronically-controlled locking rear differential.

BMW says the XM has a near-perfect 50/50 weight distribution to enhance its handling. The adaptive M Professional suspension comes standard and features springs and shocks unique to the XM. For the first time, an electro-mechanical roll stabilizing system has been added backed by a 48-volt system. Together with the Active Roll Comfort function, body motions over uneven pavement are reduced. The car also adjusts its body height actively to keep it from feeling tipsy. Integral Active Steering is standard on the XM for improved agility, handling, and stability when turning or driving on winding roads.

BMW XM teaser previews M division’s first plug-in hybrid system

Additional go-fast components include mode-specific M-tuned brakes and lightweight M-specific alloy wheels up to 23 inches in size. BMW says the 2023 XM offers high limits when driving enthusiastically but doesn’t sacrifice usability. The Bavarian brand says its new performance model also excels on the daily commute and long-distance journeys. It is currently testing prototypes under the toughest conditions to ensure the XM has that ideal balance of sportiness and comfort. These include driving the car through ruts, bumps, and other types of uneven pavement to see how the crossover reacts to these surfaces. Part of the evaluation regime also includes fine-tuning the engine and electric motor so they work together with the rest of the vehicle and are in line with what’s expected of a BMW vehicle wearing an M badge.

The XM is the first dedicated M-badged vehicle from BMW in some time and only the second to get such a distinction. A thinly-veiled concept previewed the production model last year and it appears most of its design cues have remained intact. One big change to production is the headlight design, which now sports the tiered layout found on the new 7 Series and the refreshed X7. The rest of the vehicle appears to have carried over unchanged including the thin LED taillights, thick D-pillars, stacked quad exhausts, and upright greenhouse. BMW’s oversized twin-kidney grille is also present and should result in one of the most polarizing vehicles on the road.

Performance cars are key as BMW electrified its vehicle lineup. On the all-electric front, you have the i4 M50 and iX M60, both of which slot between the standard vehicle and a full-on M model. These will be among the first all-electric models to wear the legendary M badge and will be followed by the i5, which is part of the next-generation 5 Series lineup. Following the 2023 BMW XM, the next vehicle to get the new plug-in hybrid system will be the next-generation M5, which should retain its current AWD configuration and have similar output to its crossover sibling.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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