BMW has raised the performance and electrification bar to a new level. The automaker has revealed a new concept plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the Concept XM, which previews an upcoming electrified crossover that will soon arrive in production form with the same moniker.
The production version of the BMW Concept XM promises to be the first model under the company's "M" performance division to receive an electric motor. It will also be the first standalone BMW M model since the iconic M1. Since then, every other M vehicle has been based on an existing model from BMW's portfolio of sedans and SUVs.
The BMW Concept XM looks ahead to the most powerful BMW M car ever to go into series production. It gets its power from a V8 engine paired with an electric motor. BMW refers to this setup as the M Hybrid drive system, and the total output will be 750 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. However, these numbers are preliminary from a production standpoint.
Aside from its raucous performance potential, the XM will boost efficiency with the ability to travel up to 30 miles in all-electric mode. BMW did not share any tech specs or details on the electric motor, battery capacity, charging speed, fuel economy, or total vehicle range. And it is not known whether the BMW XM will offer all-wheel-drive capability.
From an aesthetic perspective, the Concept XM's front end shows off a new design direction for BMW's future luxury vehicles that includes an illuminated version of its black kidney grille. According to BMW, the cabin unites themes of luxury, performance, technology, and future mobility.
"The BMW Concept XM represents a complete re-imagining of the high-performance vehicle segment," said Franciscus van Meel, CEO of BMW M GmbH. "The series-production vehicle—the first pure BMW M model since the legendary BMW M1—also shows how we are approaching the step-by-step electrification of our brand."
Plug-in hybrid models are viewed by many as a stepping stone to fully electric vehicles, which appears to be the direction that BMW is moving. The company has said that it aims to have 50 percent of its model line be fully electric by 2030. BMW is currently developing all-electric versions of its 5 Series and 7 Series sedans but is slower to market than many others in the auto industry. Other luxury brands from Audi to Volvo are moving noticeably faster to electrify their model lines.
The BMW XM will go into production at the automaker's Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant beginning in late 2022. Pricing will not be available until closer to the model's on-sale date.