Harry Leahey

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BMW has launched a hybrid super SUV dubbed the XM - the first electrified vehicle to gain treatment from the firm’s M performance division. 

The plug-in hybrid setup involves a 4.4-litre twin turbocharged V8 engine which produces up to 489hp. An additional 194hp comes from an electric motor, creating a combined power output of 653hp and 800 Nm of torque. There is also an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 25.7kWh battery. Power is planted to all four wheels via BMW’s M xDrive all-wheel-drive system. 

Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph, rising to 168mph if the optional M Driver’s Package is selected on the options list. In pure-electric mode, which can deliver up to 55 miles of fully-electric driving, the top speed is reduced to 87 mph.  

BMW claims a 0-60mph sprint in just 4.3 seconds, and average fuel consumption at 188.3mpg on a WLTP cycle.

In addition to the standard car, there will also be an even more potent 748hp Label Red variant arriving next year with 1,000 Nm of torque - making it the most powerful road-legal BMW in its history. 

Though powerful, it is extremely heavy too, coming in at 2,710kg, - a whole tonne heavier than the BMW M4 Competition. 

To help avoid the car leaning in during fast cornering, BMW has fitted the XM with electronic anti-roll bars and adaptive dampers as standard, while a limited slip-differential distributes torque to whichever wheel requires the most grip. 

Inside the XM are two 14.5-inch displays - one which acts as an instrument cluster, while the other runs BMW’s infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is also a head-up display, an M-styled leather steering wheel with shift paddles, as well as electronically adjustable M-sport seats. 

Externally, the car features the same kidney grills from the XM Concept, while the sensor and camera systems for the driver assistance tech are integrated discreetly into the front apron. 

There’s also Adaptive LED headlights and daytime running lights which come as standard. It rides on 21-inch alloy wheels, though can be upgraded to larger 22 and 23-inch sizes from the options list. 

Pricing has not been confirmed for the more powerful Label Red variant, though the standard MX is priced from £144,980 - available to order now ahead of deliveries in early 2023. 

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Harry Leahey 29/12/22