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[Test Drive] BMW XM boasts unparalleled driving experience

German automaker’s latest sports activity vehicle dons 643-horsepower plug-in hybrid powertrain

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : April 2, 2023 - 13:18

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The BMW XM (BMW Korea) The BMW XM (BMW Korea)

BMW has revived the high-performance M lineup with the launch of the BMW XM, the automaker’s first plug-in hybrid model in the BMW M series and the first standalone model since the debut of the BMW M1 coupe in 1978.

At first sight, the BMW XM gives an overwhelming impression with its size and forceful exterior design. The sports activity vehicle is measured at a length of 5,110 millimeters, a width of 2,005 mm and a height of 1,755. The massive kidney grills on the front that light up on the outer framework add more to its already large presence.

“The BMW XM is the most powerful car in BMW M's history. From a newly developed 4.4-liter V8 engine combined with an electric motor, (the car) produces a combined system output of 653 horsepower,” said Timo Resch, vice president of customer, brand and sales at BMW M, during the launch ceremony in Seoul on March 28.

According to the automaker, the plug-in hybrid model can drive up to 62 kilometers on pure electricity as certified by the Korean Ministry of Environment. The vehicle can drive up to 140 kilometers per hour in EV driving mode. Using the lower voltage of a household outlet, the BMW XM’s battery can be fully charged in little over 4 hours.

The automaker touted that it takes only 4.3 seconds for the BMW XM to reach 100 kilometers per hour. The vehicle demonstrated that it could accelerate as fast as the driver would like during the brief 30-minute test driving following the launch ceremony. Even without pressing the accelerator pedal all the way down, the vehicle’s acceleration was more than enough to pass by other cars on the road.

From the clean-cut interior design and the leather upholstery to the spacious second row, everything inside the BMW XM echoes the word, "grandiose." The driver-oriented cockpit with a curved display makes it feel like the driver is in a space shuttle with cutting-edge technology.

The starting price of the BMW new XM is set at 221.9 million won ($170,443).

Korea has grown to become the sixth-largest market for the BMW M series in terms of volume. It topped all BMW M markets in the Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Middle East and African regions, according to Resch.

“A stronger XM is coming. The most powerful vehicle in the history of BMW M, the BMW XM Label Red is in the development stage and will be launched in the market from this autumn. With a system output of a new high of 748 horsepower, the BMW XM Label Red will offer customers the ultimate performance experience,” said Resch.

The interior of the BMW XM (BMW Korea) The interior of the BMW XM (BMW Korea)