BMW Concept XM: Munich’s first standalone M car since the M1 is a weird hybrid SUV

It just keeps getting weirder and weirder, doesn’t it. BMW has just unveiled the new Concept XM, their first exclusively M-badged model since the M1 (and the first with an electric motor), and it’s pretty much all-grille up front.

BMW says that the Concept XM will be turned into a production-model SUV by the end of 2022, and will be manufactured at the carmaker’s Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, USA.

To call its design “unusual” would be putting it lightly. The kidney grille – now illuminated around its perimeter – takes up nearly the entire front fascia, and flanked by tiny angular headlights that looks nothing more like daytime-running lights.

The bumpers – and the rest of the car for the matter – are styled with sharp lines and acute angles, somewhat like the BMW 2 Series Coupe taken to the extreme. Round the back, the rear screen even comes with humps that extends upwards to meet the roof’s contours, with the BMW logo etched onto the glass itself – the latter a nod to the original M1’s design.

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Whether you like it or not, BMW says that the new front-end design previews the styling direction that all of its future luxury-class models will adhere to. And while it still looks like a concept for now, we have no doubts that many of its brash styling elements will actually make it into production – especially with how similar the production 4 Series looks when compared to the Concept 4.

The interior of the BMW Concept XM, meanwhile, is by contrast a more “civilised” look – well, that’s if you discount the funky polygon-filled headliners and rear seats. It’s slathered in what BMW calls “vintage-look leather”, while the curved displays with iDrive 8 takes centre stage on the carbon fibre and copper dashboard.

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As for performance, BMW says that the Concept XM will come with a V8 engine underneath the bonnet, paired with an M-Hybrid high-performance electric motor for a total system output of around 750 hp and 1,000 Nm of torque.

The output figures are, of course, still preliminary at this point in time, but BMW says that the hybrid V8 powertrain will be the sole option on the Concept XM when it makes it to production.



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