BMW has started series production of its first electrified M vehicle at its Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, USA.

    Called the XM, it’s now being built alongside the BMW X5, X6 and X7 SUVs on the same assembly line.

    The German carmaker has said the key markets for the XM will be the US, China, and the Middle East.

    The BMW XM plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUV was first revealed in September this year, following the reveal of the Concept XM in late 2021, and is confirmed to arrive in Australia in the first half of 2023.

    A more powerful version of the XM called Label Red is set to join the local range in late 2023 and was recently leaked on BMW Australia’s website.

    The XM will be priced from $297,900 before on-road costs locally, with the Label Red expected to come with a hefty premium.

    Powering the XM is a PHEV powertrain consisting a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine producing 360kW/650Nm, an electric motor producing 145kW/280Nm, and a 25.7kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Total system outputs are 480kW of power and 800Nm of torque.

    The Label Red bumps outputs of the twin-turbo V8 engine to 430kW and 750Nm which, combined with the electric motor, make for total system outputs of 550kW and 1000Nm.

    BMW advises these are provisional values based on the vehicle’s current stage of development.

    The electric motor in the XM is integrated into an eight-speed automatic transmission, with power sent through an M xDrive rear-biased all-wheel drive system.

    BMW claims the regular XM can do the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.3 seconds, and flat out you’ll be doing 270km/h. Performance data for the Label Red hasn’t been confirmed yet.

    The XM’s lithium-ion battery pack is good for a maximum of 82-88km of electric-only driving on the stricter WLTP cycle.

    As for fuel consumption, BMW claims the XM will use as little as 1.6-1.5L/100km on the combined WLTP cycle. Not bad for a 2710kg performance SUV.

    The XM features double-wishbone front and five-link rear suspension with adaptive M suspension Professional, featuring electronically-controlled dampers and active roll stabilisation with 48V electric motors and Active Roll Control.

    The M Sport brakes feature two pedal feel settings, while the XM is the first BMW M model with rear-wheel steering.

    Like the concept, the exterior of the XM features a rakish, coupe-like silhouette, though the front and rear lighting elements have been tweaked somewhat.

    Styling details include hexagonal, stacked dual exhaust outlets, plus a choice of 21-, 22- and 23-inch light-alloy wheels.

    There are also gold-look surrounds for the illuminated kidney grille, plus a gold accent band running along the side of the vehicle that’s said to pay homage to the classic M1’s black strip.

    BMW says other nods to the past include logos engraved into the flat rear window, plus the louvred look of the tail lights.

    When the XM launches, it will slot in above the X6 M. But while you can buy an X6 sans the M treatment, BMW hasn’t announced plans to do a ‘regular’ XM.

    MORE: Everything BMW XM

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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