BMW M‘s first bespoke SUV model, the bold-looking XM plug-in hybrid (PHEV), has been spied once again before being globally revealed later in the year.

    Set to be BMW M’s first electrified vehicle, the XM will use a “newly-developed” V8 engine mated to an electric motor, with claimed system outputs of 480kW of power and 800Nm of torque.

    As previously reported, this is 70kW and 200Nm down on what BMW claimed the Concept XM produced. This concept was revealed at the Art Basel 2021 Miami Beach show.

    The road-going model will go into production towards the end of 2022 at BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina plant.

    It’s unclear if BMW is leaving room for an even-more powerful version of the XM in the future which could produce closer to the concept’s outputs, or if the production XM was never intended to be that powerful.

    BMW still claims the XM has an all-electric range of up to 80km, according to WLTP testing.

    The Bavarian automaker 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 has 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.

    This particular BMW XM spied prototype is wearing the typical black-and-white camouflage that we’ve previously seen, but we get a clearer look at the signature double-kidney grille and front bumper details.

    The prototype has a blacked-out grille with horizontal slats and no badging, as well as a number of creases and vents on the front bumper.

    One of these vents on the outermost part of the front bumper in particular seems to channel air in the front wheel arches in order to cool the brakes.

    Although the rest of this spied prototype seems to have been seen previously, we recently reported on a XM model largely without camouflage whatsoever. This particular model was finished in grey paint and had gold-finish trim on the grille surround and beltline.

    The Concept XM also featured a side trim piece on the beltline, however this was finished in black and was used to separate the two paint finishes on the exterior.

    We also got a glimpse at the interior of this particular XM which showed off the steering wheel, centre console and gear shifter.

    The Concept XM had a dashboard design in the vein of other recent BMW products, with a “BMW Curved Display” featuring a digital instrument cluster and central touchscreen in one housing.

    It remains to be seen if the production version of the XM will receive the outlandish vintage-look brown leather and quilted velvet upholstery, deep-pile carpeting and illuminated headliner.

    While BMW sells M versions of its X3, X4, X5 and X6 SUVs, the XM will exist only as a BMW M division product with no “regular” version available.

    At this stage, the XM’s primary focus is the US market, although it is on the local division’s mind.

    In November 2021 a BMW Australia spokesperson said, “The BMW M brand and BMW X range are highly significant 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 to our customers.”

    MORE: 2023 BMW XM spied
    MORE: 2023 BMW XM teased, power and torque lower than concept

    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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