Although we really don’t want to be talking about the size of a new BMW‘s kidney grilles yet again, we don’t have a lot of choice here. The XM concept has the biggest nostrils we’ve yet seen from the company, and just in case they weren’t attention-grabbing already, the frames are brightly lit. Crikey.
Had you glossed over the headline, you might be expecting us to start talking about some electric powertrain with a ridiculous output, but no - behind that face, BMW describes as “bold” is a V8. It is, however, supplemented by electricity. And yes, the power figure is quite silly.
The combination of the V8 and an electric motor yields a total system output of 739bhp and 737lb ft of torque. Or more neatly, 1000Nm. BMW hasn’t specified, but we’re assuming the engine side of the equation is the M5/M8/X5 M’s 4.4-litre twin-turbo unit.
The battery size hasn’t been disclosed either, but with an electric-only range of up to 50 miles, it’s likely the same 24kWh pack found in the X5 xDrive45e. Since the V8 is normally good for 626bhp on its own, we reckon the single electric motor is much the same as the 111bhp unit found in the plug-in X5 too.
As you might have gathered from our guesswork, technical information is thin on the ground - the press release is dominated by waffle about the design and offers little else. For the chassis, the only detail we’re given is that the XM rides on 23-inch wheels. Don’t discount the prospect of the production version using these vast hoops - you can already buy an Audi RS Q8 with 23s, after all.
What’s particularly interesting about the XM is that it’s a stand-alone M model, the first since the car that started it all - the legendary M1. Neatly, the showroom-ready version will arrive in 2022, the year of M GmbH’s 50th anniversary.
Inside, it’s similar to the iX EV, save for details like a chunky passenger grab handle on the centre console and a more traditionally-shaped steering wheel. Just behind the latter is BMW’s new curved display which incorporates the digital instrument cluster and an infotainment screen.
There’s a whole lot of “vintage-look” brown leather in the front, and copper-infused carbon fibre trim. Curiously, the rear gets a different colour scheme. It’s predominantly “petrol” blue back there, with a bonkers “three-dimensional prism structure” headliner.
Expect a lot of the interior elements to be toned down massively for the production car. Judging by BMW’s recent concepts, though, the exterior might end up being just as - as BMW calls it - “expressive”.
The XM will be one of M’s more expensive offerings, costing far more than the £113,045 X5 M.