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2023 BMW XM Is an Awesome 644-HP Plug-In Hybrid SUV You'll Probably Hate

BMW's new flagship model sticks close to the wild styling of the concept we saw last year.

2023 BMW XM
This rules.
BMW

Last year BMW unveiled the Concept XM, a crazy plug-in-hybrid SUV that was a preview for the brand's first M-only model since the 1978 M1 supercar. The production 2023 BMW XM is now here, and judging by the reaction to the Concept XM, as well as the reactions to most new BMWs (and high-performance luxury SUVs in general), most of you are probably going to hate it. That's too bad, because if you open your mind and expand your horizons you'll realize that the new XM is actually freakin' awesome.

Aside from ditching the concept's two-tone paint and gaining real door handles and less wild taillights, the production XM looks basically just like the concept. It's brazen and brash and honestly kinda ugly, but I think it works and is easily BMW's most interesting design. Overall the XM is about 2 inches shorter than the X7 on which it shares a platform, but the XM is wider and 3 inches lower thanks to the rakish roofline. The rear glass is much more slanted than on the X7, but BMW isn't calling the XM a coupe.

Love the nod to the M1.

BMW

Dominating the front end are two giant kidney grilles, the outline of which are illuminated. Combined with the prominent hood bulges, super slim LED running lights and the dark-tinted headlights "hidden" in the bumper below, the XM kind of looks like an angry cartoon pig. The fenders are nicely sculpted and have large black wheel arches that flow into the glossy lower body trim, and the XM has a tall beltline and wide haunches. The thin taillights wrap around onto the rear fenders like on the concept, with the actual light itself only visible in the lens cover when illuminated, and there's a set of stacked hexagonal exhaust tips on each end of the rear bumper. Best of all, the production XM retains the awesome rear hatch glass of the concept, the top of which echoes the M1's rear end shape and contains two BMW roundels laser-engraved into the glass. (There's even a rear wiper!)

Like on the concept there's a piece of trim that wraps around the windows and continues along the beltline, which is normally gloss black but available in NightGold. That lovely gold trim can also be added to the outline of the kidney grilles and parts of the diffuser. Seven paint colors will be available at launch with more to come in the summer -- eventually over 50 BMW Individual hues will be available. The XM comes standard with 23-inch wheels wearing summer performance tires, but 22s with aerodynamic inserts are optional. BMW also offers a dual-color 23-inch wheel design that you see here, which has a center cap featuring a 3D BMW script.

23-inch wheels are standard.

BMW

Sadly the XM's interior does away with the three vertical air vents and grab handle on the center console, but it sets itself apart from the X7 with a unique dashboard design and some fascinating details. The larged curved iDrive screen is set into a matte carbon-fiber panel, and there's more carbon and pearl-effect chrome trim throughout. The XM has what BMW calls the M Lounge back seat; the three-across bench has recessed cushions, integrated headrests and wrap-around quilted leather panels that extend onto the doors. The XM is also available with Vintage Coffee Merino leather on the dashboard and door panels as a combination with the Silverstone or Deep Lagoon main colors. This leather was created with a unique finishing process that highlights imperfections usually omitted from normal high-end leather interiors, and it'll look a little different in each car. But the XM's real party piece is the headliner, which has a 3D sculpture effect to its Alcantara surface that is augmented by fiber-optic cables featuring 100 LEDs in the border around the roof panel.

The starting point for the XM's powertrain is an updated version BMW's twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine that we know and love, which on its own makes 483 horsepower. But the XM is also fitted with a 29.5-kilowatt-hour battery pack (of which 25.7 kWh is usable) and a 194-hp electric motor integrated into the 8-speed automatic transmission. Total output is 644 hp and 590 pound-feet of torque, and BMW says the XM will hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and reach a top speed of up to 168 mph. In pure electric mode the XM will do an estimated 30 miles on a charge and run at up to 87 mph, and with 7.4-kW AC charging the battery can be replenished from 0 to 100% in under 3.5 hours.

The vintage leather looks incredible.

BMW

BMW's rear-biased xDrive all-wheel-drive system provides fully variable torque distribution from both the engine and electric motor to all four wheels, and an electronically controlled rear differential ensures maximum power delivery with minimal understeer and loss of grip. There's a 4WD Sport mode that sends even more power to the rear wheels for "M-typical" handling, and a 4WD Sand mode can be activated for low-traction surfaces. The XM also comes standard with a 48-volt active anti-roll bar setup, rear-wheel steering and adaptive suspension.

The XM will enter production at the end of 2022 in Spartanburg, South Carolina at the same plant that also builds the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7. It will start at $159,995 including a $995 destination charge, making it the most expensive BMW you can buy. Coming in the summer of 2023 will be the limited-edition XM Label Red, which boosts power to 735 hp and 735 lb-ft and comes with unique paint, wheels, trim and interior upholstery. The Label Red will start at over $185,000, and BMW says it will be followed by other special Label models.