The BMW XM super SUV has proven, erm, controversial since its debut, but there’s no questioning how fast it is.

    In a bid to show off exactly how fast, BMW took a range-topping XM Label Red to the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb in Colorado, in search of a new record for production SUVs.

    Although it ended up breaking the record, things didn’t go to plan initially.

    Having consistently set quick times in qualifying, driver Matt Mullins was looking good on his official race day run. But having flowed through the early parts of the hillclimb, Mullins understeered wide on a corner, ran through a ditch parallel to the road, and slammed into a tree.

    The car came to rest upright, having rolled once. Mullins was unhurt.

    The Label Red uses a more powerful version of the XM’s twin-turbocharged V8 plug-in hybrid powertrain with total system outputs of 550kW and 1000Nm, up 70kW and 200Nm on the standard XM.

    The 0-100km/h time has been slashed from 4.3 seconds to just 3.8 seconds. It tips the scales at around 2700kg.

    BMW eventually set the Pikes Peak SUV record, with a time of 10:48.60.

    That’s just over a second quicker than Bentley managed in a Bentayga – although Bentley can proudly hold the fact it didn’t write off a car in the process over BMW’s head.

    MORE: Everything BMW XM

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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