BMW M is gearing up to reveal its first electrified vehicle.
The Bavarian carmaker has confirmed it’s revealing its XM plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUV on September 27 in a short teaser video uploaded by BMW USA to its social media.
The video is titled ‘Get ready for first contact’, which suggests an extraterrestrial theme, and briefly shows the front of the XM with its illuminated kidney grille and split headlight design.
There’s also a moment where you can hear the guttural V8 engine start up and rev with the turbo blow-off valves going off.
The BMW XM is the first SUV to be designed from scratch as an M model and will use a “newly-developed” V8 engine mated to an electric motor, with claimed outputs of 480kW of power and 800Nm of torque.
BMWBlog speculates there will be a more powerful, range-topping version of the XM launching next year with around 560kW. It also claims there could be an entry-level six-cylinder PHEV version at some point.
BMW still claims the XM has an electric range of up to 80km, according to WLTP testing.
The brand is remaining tight-lipped on details surrounding the XM’s high-voltage battery capacity, 0-100km/h sprint time, top speed and efficiency ratings for now.
The XM will have a hybrid-specific M xDrive all-wheel drive system which includes an electronic rear differential lock in the rear axle transmission.
As standard the XM will come with M adaptive suspension and a model-specific M braking system, while alloy wheels up to 23 inches in size will be available.
For the first time in a BMW M vehicle, the XM will have an electromechanical roll stabilising system that’s powered by a 48V electrical system, as well as rear-axle steering that helps low-speed cornering and high-speed driving stability.
There are a couple of differences though, including more visible headlights, a tweaked front bumper area, traditional door handles, smoother fender flares, and more conventional tail light clusters.
Some of these changes from the Concept XM were already leaked courtesy of shots of a partially camouflaged production vehicle earlier this year.
This spied BMW XM also featured unusual gold-coloured trim around the grille and down the sides.
Inside, the mostly covered interior featured a steering wheel, shifter and centre console seemingly identical to those of the concept, while the materials were finished in a deep aquamarine. BMW’s Curved Display appears present.
It remains to be seen whether the production model will adopt some of the more outlandish interior design cues of the concept; including it’s heavily sculpted, illuminated headliner, its vintage-look brown leather trim up front, and the quilted velvet upholstery in the rear.
Production of the BMW XM will begin towards the end of 2022 at BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina plant.
Following the concept’s reveal last November, a BMW Australia spokesperson said: “The BMW M brand and BMW X range are highly significantly to Australia – one in five BMWs sold here wear an M badge and BMW X vehicles represent more than 60 per cent of our total sales volume.
“With that in mind, the BMW Concept XM has immediate appeal for our market. If the production model is made available to us, we will definitely offer it our customers.”
Porsche already has a hot PHEV version of its Cayenne called the Turbo S E-Hybrid, which uses a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 mated with an electric motor and a 17.9kWh lithium-ion battery and produces total system outputs of 500kW and 900Nm.
This powertrain could find its way into the electrified Urus.