BMW has previewed its mad new Concept XM – an incredibly bold performance SUV draped in cyberpunk styling – which previews the series-production XM that’s due next year.

With the production XM set to become the first BMW M standalone model since the M1 of 1978-81 when it enters production in late 2022 at BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, this concept version being shown now gives a good idea of what the final product is likely to look like as it’s clearly looking pretty production-ready as it sits.

Released as part of the celebrations for the the M division’s 50th anniversary, the Concept XM is anything but subtle, with the kidney grille looking to be at its biggest yet, with it flanked by minuscule headlights that, with their two individual lights on each side, are likely to represent the lighting on other BMW’s going forward.

At the back, the curved lighting strips that make up the taillights are representative of the lighting signature on many other new BMWs, while the roof design pays homage to the M1 with its two ‘fins’ sporting a BMW roundel at the end of each of them.

Only adding to the aggressive look are the big stacked exhaust outlets at the back, along with the massive 23-inch wheels it’s riding on that uniquely see the BMW name spelt out on the centre caps, rather than featuring the whole BMW logo.

Peek inside and the cabin already looks production-ready as it sits, with some recognisable switchgear from existing BMW models, along with a new dashboard layout seeing both the instrument and infotainment screens placed next to each other on one huge wraparound display.

For a unique two-tone look, the front bucket seats are clad in vintage-look brown leather while there’s an array of complimentary copper and carbon fibre trim, while the rear seat is given a dark green quilted velvet finish that reminds of a luxury sofa – it’s even dubbed the ‘M Lounge’. The headlining is covered in a funky triangular texture as well, really amping up the cabin’s retro-futuristic look and feel.

What’s most exciting about the Concept XM, though, is its drivetrain. The concept is cited as being powered by an unspecified V8 engine combined with a plug-in hybrid system to deliver a whopping 550kW (750hp) and 1000Nm (737 lb-ft), along with a claimed 80km of pure electric driving range.

In the production XM due next year, don’t expect quite so much power, though. Rumour suggests that it’ll feature the new S68 twin-turbo V8, still paired with a plug-in hybrid system, for a still very healthy 485kW – enough to make it the most powerful M model thus far, beating out the M5 CS.

The Concept XM is set to be shown in person at Art Basel in Miami, Florida, which is open to the public from December 2-4.

Patrick Jackson
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