2023 BMW XM: Can This High-Performance Plug-In Hybrid Crossover Defy All Odds?

The 2023 BMW XM is the first electrified vehicle from the brand’s high-performance M division. It’s also the second M car developed entirely by BMW M after unveiling its first car in 1978 with the BMW M1. We first saw the XM as a concept at Art Basel’s Miami Beach Show in 2021 as a definitive design study into what an electrified, high-performing BMW crossover would be like. The all-new BMW XM slots above the three-row X7 as the brand’s range-topping SUV and defies all odds by offering solid race-proven hardware, plenty of new-age tech features, and a progressive yet quirky visage.

2023 BMW XM: What’s New?

BMW’s flagship XM faces stiff competition from vehicles like the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, Lamborghini Urus, and the Aston Martin DBX. Make no mistake about the XM’s gargantuan kidney grilles, chunky proportions, and SUV silhouette because we’re talking about a serious contender for the fastest SUV title – all while being a plug-in hybrid that delivers an estimated 30 miles of all-electric driving range.

Fifth-Gen BMW eDrive Technology

Powering the 2023 BMW XM is an updated 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 engine and a fifth-gen plug-in hybrid unit with an integrated electric motor within the eight-speed automatic gearbox. The gas engine pumps out 483 horsepower, while the electric motor churns out 194 more for a total system output of 644 horsepower and a healthy 590 lb-ft. of torque, the latter arriving from 1,600 to 5,000 rpm.

The floor-mounted battery pack recharges via a standard 7.4 kW combined charging unit that replenishes the juice from zero to 100 percent in three hours or more.

The electrified powertrain sends grunt to all four wheels using a rear-biased M xDrive four-wheel drivetrain with an electronically-controlled M Sport rear axle differential. The latter allows torque vectoring capabilities between the left and right rear wheels. Also standard are rear-wheel steering, near-actuator wheel slip limitation, and active roll stabilization (with active roll comfort) to improve on-road stability. Meanwhile, a double-wishbone front and a five-link rear suspension with steel springs and adaptive dampers offer a sporty yet compliant drive.

BMW will unveil a limited and more extreme variant of the XM called the Label Red in the summer of 2023. It’ll debut with a 735 horsepower version of the XM’s PHEV powertrain that also pumps out 735 lb-ft. of torque, numbers that could break speed records.

2023 BMW XM.
2023 BMW XM. Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.

How Quick Is The 2023 BMW XM?

Equipped with launch control, the 2023 BMW XM rockets to 60 mph from a dead stop in 4.1 seconds and has a 155 mph top speed. Selecting the M Driver’s Package raises the electronically-limited velocity to 168 mph. Moreover, the XM can go up to 87 mph in all-electric mode.

Purposeful Design

We’re not the biggest fans of the XM’s convoluted styling elements, but it does have an unmistakable charm. The mishmash of smooth surfaces and sharp curves is a love-it or hate-it affair, and the front-end styling is reminiscent of the predator-faced BMW 7-Series. However, the rear tidies up with slim taillights, double-stacked dual exhaust tips, and engraved BMW logos on the rear glass. Large 23-inch M light alloy wheels are standard fare, but BMW has optional 22-inch aero wheels or 23-inch bi-color rims if you desire more flare.

Surprisingly, the interior is not as crazy as the outside. The cabin exudes top-notch quality and old-school luxury with standard Merino leather upholstery, deep-pile carpeting, and optional vintage coffee merino cowhide. There’s a BMW iDrive8 curved display framed in matte carbon fiber, and we’re crushing on those M Lounge rear sears and the sculptural headliner with pulsing fiber optic LEDs like in a Rolls-Royce.

Comprehensive Safety Package

BMW claims its newest XM has the most comprehensive list of driver assistance systems offered in a modern Bimmer. It has a frontal collision warning system, lane departure warning (with steering assistance), an evasion assistant, a speed limit information system, and a no-overtaking indicator. Moreover, the optional Driving Assistant Professional package adds active cruise control, steering and lane control assistant, speed limit assist, and active navigation, among others.

2023 BMW XM Starting MSRP

The 2023 BMW XM starts at $159,995 (including the $995 destination charge). The hotrod XM Label Red will start at or above $185,000. Production begins in late 2022 at BMW’s Plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with the first deliveries to arrive in early 2023.

 Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.

Photos & Source: BMW of North America, LLC.