Despite BMW’s “hostile architecture, but make it a car” stance towards styling over the past few years, it’s hard to say that the company hasn’t been pushing boundaries in technology and performance. The brand-new XM SUV (which just debuted on Tuesday) is a perfect example of this.
Not only is it BMW’s flagship model, and not only does it produce 644 horsepower, but it’s a plug-in hybrid. It’s also technically BMW’s first M-only model since the M1 from the 1970s, even though it does share a platform with the X7. It’s also remarkably similar to the XM Concept we saw not too long ago.
The XM’s powertrain is an updated version of BMW’s tried-and-true 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, which makes 438 horsepower all by itself. That is then paired with a 194-hp electric motor and 29.5-kilowatt-hour battery to generate its final system output of 644 hp and 590 pound-feet of torque. BMW claims this is good enough for a 0-60 time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 168 mph.
Unsurprisingly, this new technological terror features BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system, which in this case is mostly rear-biased which should aid in making the XM feel sportier than it otherwise would. It also comes fitted as standard with four-wheel steering, adaptive suspension and a 48-volt active swaybar system.
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BMW will offer the XM in a veritable rainbow of paint colors, trim colors (including the batshit nuts NightGold you see here) and interior colors, so if you don’t like the press photos, then don’t give up all hope; there may be an XM that suits you. Of course, if you want one, you’ll have to pony up a fat stack of cashish, to the tune of $159,995, including a $995 destination charge, which handily makes it the most expensive Bimmer you can buy.
The XM is supposed to enter production by the end of the year at BMW’s Spartanville, South Carolina assembly plant, which also happens to build the rest of BMW’s SUVs.