Like it or not, the BMW XM is the brand’s new halo car. Trust me, I don’t like the idea of BMW M’s halo car being a three-ton hybrid SUV anymore than you do but here we are.
Despite the antithetical nature of the XM’s existence, it’s an important car for the brand, for two reasons: it’s the M Division’s first hybrid, which means it will act as a test bed for future electrified M cars, and because it’s gonna print money for BMW.
So let’s take a closer look at the brand’s newest, and weirdest, brand leader in these new exclusive photos we were able to snag.
First Bespoke M Since the M1
The BMW XM is a funky looking car. Some love it. Some hate it. Some love to hate it. But regardless of your feelings, there’s no denying that it’s different looking from every other BMW that’s ever come before it. Much of the reason for that is it’s the M Division’s first-ever clean-sheet design.
It isn’t based off of any pre-existing BMW product and was solely designed to be an M car, which is another first.
The car in these photos is the lesser 650 horsepower version, so don’t expect all of the bells and whistles. On the outside, it features a unique front end design which, as wild looking as it is, is somehow less controversial than that of the BMW M4.
However, the rest of the car is made up of an odd mishmash of lines, shapes, and angles. More fashionably people than might look at the XM with admiration, feeling as if it’s high-art that a luddite like myself can’t understand. So maybe not liking the XM is a me thing.
Inside, the BMW XM also breaks new ground for BMW as it separates the front and rear cabin compartments by using different designs for each.
Front passengers get a pretty traditional BMW cabin, with the now-normal iDrive 8 screen, the same center console as every M car, the same door pulls, and even the same steering wheel. Which is frustrating.
Why label this as an all-new, groundbreaking M car and not give the driver—literally the person that will use the car the most—a new, groundbreaking interior? I digress.
The rear cabin compartment features a funky pattern on the seats and a more stylish, luxurious layout. The entire headliner also gets an unusual but interesting geometric pattern.
One of the headline features of the BMW XM is its vintage leather up front. It features a brown leather that’s been intentionally aged, to give off a vintage vibe.
It sort of looks like an old baseball glove, which is something Audi did with the original TT back in 1999, so BMW’s just a touch late to the ballgame. But it’s cool nevertheless.
The BMW XM is a unique car for several reasons but its design is certainly the biggest. Whether you like it or not, the XM represents a shift in philosophy at BMW M and will continue to represent the future of the brand. So breathe it in.