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BMW XM Getting More Powerful Variant, Won't Be Called Competition

2023 BMW XM Prototype
The more powerful XM should have 750 horsepower.

What's happening

BMW's upcoming XM plug-in hybrid SUV is getting a higher-performance variant shortly after its launch.

Why it matters

The high-power XM will have as much as 750 horsepower, and unlike other BMWs, it won't use the Competition name.

What's next

The 2023 XM will debut in September and arrive in the US in March 2023.

BMW's new XM SUV is a riot, one of the M brand's biggest surprises in years. It'll debut in September and go on sale next March, but as I learned while driving the XM prototype in Austria last week, there's already more to come.

The XM will be powered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain that combines BMW's S68-generation 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with a lithium-ion battery pack of undisclosed size. (It's probably packing less than 20 kilowatt-hours, I'm told.) Combined, this setup will produce 644 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.

But if you remember when the XM concept debuted in November, BMW said it had 750 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque. Sven Ritter, the XM's project manager, told me this higher-output version will arrive soon after the standard model, and to think of it as a sort of XM Competition in the way BMW offers standard and Competition variants of its other M cars. But it won't be called XM Competition, Ritter confirmed, though he declined to elaborate further.

The key thing to note about the XM is that it's a vehicle exclusive to the M brand. Ritter said BMW expects the XM to cater to shoppers who'd otherwise buy a Mercedes-Benz G-Class or Lamborghini Urus, and that these folks don't want a vehicle that's shared with non-M models. Cars like the X5 M are very similar to the X5 xDrive40i and M50i variants. But XM customers "don't want to see a 40," Ritter said.

We don't know how much the new XM will cost, though a starting price above $150,000 is almost certain. The more powerful variant will obviously add more to that bottom line, but considering how much extra power will be on tap, it could be worth the extra cost.