It was just two weeks ago that BMW presented the facelift for its two power SUVs X5 M / X6 M at the classic event on Amelia Island in Florida. But the dynamic duo comes across as a reserved-shy couple on a first date when the new BMW XM is parked behind them. The new XM is not beautiful and certainly not elegant, but a loud exclamation point that the most spectacular luxury crossover of modern times does not come from Lamborghini, Ferrari or Aston Martin, but has a blue and white rotor on the hood. Hardly anyone would have expected that the first vehicle that Garching-based M GmbH was allowed to develop after the spectacular debut of the M1 would be such a martial-looking SUV. Incidentally, it inspires with a particularly elegant interior and, thanks to 3.11 meters, can also shine in the second row. Incidentally, this also applies to the loading space: 527 to 1,820 liters offer all possibilities behind the electric tailgate.

When the angular, boxy radiator grille of the 5.11 meter long BMW XM in the rear-view mirror gets bigger and bigger, you should hurry out of the dust and onto the right lane. The fact that this luxury colossus is a plug-in hybrid that can also drive more than 80 kilometers purely electrically should not interest most customers – primarily from the USA and the Emirates – because it’s all about appearance and performance and that’s where it delivers the XM from – and how! Even the drive of the normal BMW XM puts most of it in the shade, because the 4.4 liter eight-cylinder twin turbo delivers a powerful 480 kW / 653 hp and a maximum torque of 800 Nm. For this purpose, the combustion engine with its 360 kW / 489 hp is supported by an electric motor that throws another 145 kW / 197 hp into the ring. The step on the gas is appropriate, because despite its more than 2.7 tons, the all-wheel drive sprints from a standing start to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds km/h top is slowed down by the Bavarian, produced in Spartanburg / South Carolina. Anyone whose eyes have already passed over the exterior design of the BMW XM will get dizzy spells when looking at the standard consumption, because here BMW promises 1.5 liters of premium fuel per 100 kilometers. The brute sound from the four-flow exhaust system after the selected driving program hardly fits in with this.

The power delivery is no less than brute and is only surpassed by the tight chassis package. A step on the gas with the flap system open and you reap applause and disgust at the same time from those around you, while your facial features almost slip away, while the thrust of both engines does not seem to diminish. The sprint of the martially illuminated all-wheel drive colossus is powerful, because the occupants are pressed into well-formed leather chairs. It’s nice that a brand is finally committed to the noble leather skins and doesn’t let the occupants sit on cheap-looking artificial leather covers or revised fishing nets. Anyone who spends around 200,000 euros well equipped saves the world in a different way than with less than convincing leather substitutes. Then it’s better to take a look at the interior roof, which is boldly modeled and skilfully illuminated.

If the sprint from any speed range in the standard XM is not hot enough, you have to be patient for another year, because M GmbH will follow up at the end of the year: with the Red Label Edition, the name of which makes you shake your head. Wouldn’t a CS, Performance or some other confusion of letters at the rear have done the trick? Okay – so Red Label and, in addition to other equipment details, it gets a lavish performance boost to an impressive 550 kW / 748 hp and gigantic 1,000 Nm. Here is probably limited only at Tempo 290. As with the normal XM, a battery pack in the underbody with a capacity of 25.7 kWh provides the necessary boost in all situations. This enables brutal intermediate sprints, but also purely electric driving over a distance of up to 88 kilometers. You can refuel at the charging station with up to 7.4 kWh.

Incidentally, its chassis – at least with the 23-inch wheels – is just as polarizing as the appearance of the BMW XM, which costs at least 178,000 euros. No thought of the almost perfect symbiosis of sportiness and comfort as with the dynamic duet of X5 M and X6 M. Even in comfort mode, the new king cobra in the Bavarian model portfolio is tuned harder than ever. The 23-inch model sometimes transfers bumps, potholes or ruts all too noticeably into the interior, whose atmosphere and workmanship make you indulge. Then rather the standard 22-incher, which doesn’t look worse and offers significantly better residual comfort. Incidentally, what cannot inspire with the optional 23-inch wheels over a long distance is a real show on the winding country road, because the XM steers like a sports car, the roll stabilization almost any inclination tendencies and the all-wheel steering provides additional dynamics in the limit area in addition to the city maneuverability .