Almost all manufacturers have surrendered to the wave of SUVs dominating the car market and, therefore, BMW chose to invest more in this segment. After announcing that the XM would be the flagship of its sports division, some car enthusiasts could not understand why the German brand chose a sports utility vehicle instead of a super sports coupe.
And BMW M CEO Frank van Meel’s answer was straightforward. According to him, the company follows public taste. In this way, the brand chose to pay special attention to the SUV, after all, this is the most used type of bodywork on the market.
When we made the M1, every car manufacturer that wanted to say ‘I have something special’ made a sports car – that was the category that everyone wanted to get into. If you look at the largest, most important and fastest growing segment today, it is clearly the SUV market. And compared to other manufacturers, we still lacked this elegant competence on the M.
Although there are still many lovers of sports models, manufacturers, in general, have sold and made more profit from SUVs. Therefore, car manufacturers have been offering more cars with this feature in recent years. BMW has a range of SUVs ranging from the X1 to the X7. Some of them have a difference that was based on the work of the M sports division, however, the XM will be the first created by the industry that deals with high performance cars.
Adding to the success of the segment, van Meel recalls that BMW did not have a luxury SUV aimed at high performance. “Of course, there is the Mercedes-AMG G63, Lamborghini Urus, Aston Martin DBX and so on. You see all these modern and very expressive examples. For customers, this is something M was missing. This was the greatest need.”
The production version of the XM will be delivered later this year and should arrive with a plug-in hybrid engine and two power differentials. The most basic, it combines an electric motor with another combustion engine, and offers 644 horse power and 81 kgfm of torque. The most powerful engine has a combined 738 hp and 101 kgfm of torque.
Despite not being a sportsman, the BMW CEO concluded by saying that the new XM maintains its relationship with motorsport, as the brand has always done.
Throughout our 50-year heritage, we’ve always looked at race and series production cars to see where each is going and what it can learn from the other. We continue that with the XM: it has a V8 plug-in hybrid system and our next entry in the LMDh model range also has a V8 hybrid drive. You can see that when it works for racing, it also works for high performance cars.
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