The first standalone BMW M car since the M1 is a high-output hybrid with an exclusive “M lounge” for passengers.
BMW has unveiled a sneak peek at the XM SUV concept not at an auto show, but at this week’s glitzy Art Basel Miami Beach.
The futuristic-looking vehicle will be showcased alongside dazzling artworks from artists like Ryan Keeley, who happens to be exhibiting remixed images of November/December Maxim cover model Cindy Kimberly.
A bold move by BMW to be sure, but it makes perfect sense when you consider just how dramatic the design is of the German marque’s Concept XM.
The concept reportedly consists of about 80 to 90 percent of what to expect from the the production XM when it arrives in 2022, according to Car and Driver. BMW’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 will be combined with a plug-in hybrid electric motor to produce 750 hp and 727 pound-feet of torque.
That output makes the XM BMW’s most powerful production M car ever and the second to stand alone in the series, the other being the 1970s-era BMW M1.
But Road and Track branded BMW’s latest concept SUV one of the “most divisive cars ever,” with “extreme existing design concepts and [BMW’s} most ambitious future plans into one singular rolling laboratory.”
The iconic kidney grilles aggressively protrude like nostrils, harking to the M3 and M4. The headlights have been split into two separate modules, with slender daytime driving lights occupying the upper module.
In profile, the elongated hood and stretched, sloping roofline create a two-box design. The window graphic narrows significantly moving rearward, while a two-tone scheme split by a “black belt” paints the upper section in matte gold-bronze and lower in “Space Grey” metallic.
Out back are prominently flared wheel arches, slim L-shaped rear lights that run the width of the rear, and dual-branch twin tailpipes.
Things get crazier in the cockpit. The driver’s area doesn’t stray far from contemporary convention, with brown leather seats, a copper and carbon fiber center console, and BMW’s curved infotainment display.
But the contrasting passenger area, dubbed the M Lounge, is decked out with black-tinted windows, “Petrol”-colored seats, diamond-shaped headrests, and a headliner rendered as a 3D prism structure featuring ambient lighting colored like a nightclub’s.
“The BMW Concept XM represents a complete re-imagining of the high-performance car segment,” said Franciscus van Meel, CEO of BMW’s M division.
“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.”
We’ll see how much of this wild design language is actually offered on the BMW XM next year.