BMW has begun production of its first electric M series vehicles at the Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, USA.
Called XMit is now built alongside the BMW X5, X6 and X7 SUVs on the same assembly line.
The German carmaker said the main markets for XM are the US, China and the Middle East.
The BMW XM plug-in hybrid SUV (PHEV) was first introduced in September this year, following the unveiling of the Concept XM in late 2021, and is confirmed to arrive in Australia in the first half of 2023.
A more powerful version of the XM called Label Red is set to join the local network in late 2023 and was recently leaked on BMW Australia’s website.
XM will be priced from $297,900 before on-road costs local, with Red Label expected to come with a high premium.
Powering the XM is a PHEV powertrain consisting of a 4.4 liter twin turbo V8 petrol engine producing 360kW/650Nm, an electric motor producing 145kW/280Nm, and a 25.7kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The total output of the system is 480kW power and 800Nm of torque.
The Red Label cranks up the output of its twin-turbo V8 engine to 430kW and 750Nm combined with an electric motor, resulting in a total system output of 550kW and 1000Nm.
BMW advises this is a provisional value based on the vehicle’s current stage of development.
The electric motor in the XM is integrated into an eight-speed automatic transmission, with power sent through the M xDrive rear-biased all-wheel drive system.
BMW claims the regular XM can do 0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds, and you’ll definitely do 270km/h. Performance data for Red Label has not been confirmed yet.
The XM’s lithium-ion battery pack is good for a maximum of 82-88km of electric-only driving on the tighter WLTP cycle.
As for fuel consumption, BMW claims the XM will use at least 1.6-1.5L/100km on the WLTP combined cycle. Not bad for a 2710kg performance SUV.
The XM features double-wishbone front suspension and five-link rear suspension with Professional adaptive M suspension, featuring electronically controlled dampers and active roll stabilization with a 48V electric motor and Active Roll Control.
The M Sport brakes feature two pedal feel settings, while the XM is the first BMW M model with rear-wheel steering.
Like the concept, the XM’s exterior features a coupe-like silhouette, although the front and rear lighting elements have been modified.
Styling details include dual hexagonal, stacked exhaust outlets, as well as a choice of 21-, 22- and 23-inch light alloy wheels.
There’s also a gold-faced surround for the illuminated kidney grille, plus gold accent strips along the sides of the vehicle said to pay homage to the classic M1’s black stripes.
BMW says other nods to the past include logos etched into the flat rear window, plus the louvred look of the taillights.
When the XM is launched, it will sit above the X6 M. But while you can buy an X6 without the M treatment, BMW hasn’t announced plans to do a ‘regular’ XM.
MORE: It’s all BMW XM