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2023 BMW XM Review Singapore

The 2023 BMW XM is the all new plug in hybrid high performance SUV with a 4.4 litre turbocharged V8 with a hybrid system and full electric mode. With a price tag of more than a million dollars, this is the most expensive car that BMW have ever released, and is also only the second M-exclusive car behind the BMW M1, and features bmw badged on the top corners of the rear windscreen in homage of the M1. Armed with massive 23 inch wheels, active roll stabilisation, all wheel steering, and 145k kW electric motor, the BMW XM produces 644 bhp of power and 800Nm of torque.

Striking & Imperious Form

From the onset, the XM was set to be a special car for a few reasons. It is the most powerful car that BMW has ever built and is only the second ever M-exclusive car that BMW has ever produced, after the M1. The result is a car that costs more than a million dollars in Singapore, a price mark that has never been attained by any other BMW in Singapore. While the car certainly justifies the price tag with its revolutionary plug-in hybrid performance drivetrain, it puts the car in the same ballpark and price segment as other very illustrious and perhaps more traditionally luxurious brands such as Bentley, Aston Martin. With a price tag that pits it against some of the industry's best, the XM boasts eye catching looks in the form of a striking and imperious looking SUV.

It's not just big and brutish as well. Contrary to traditional BMW sportiness, the XM features massive emblazoned front grilles that are lined with LED strips, massive custom 23 inch wheels with a new-age BMW centre hub, an enlarged and emphasised version of the Hofmeister kink, and vertically stacked quad tailpipes. All these styling details make the XM look like a very angry cyborg.

While consumers sentiments about its looks have been somewhat divided, it is evident that this is an expensive car. Like two sides of the same coin, each seemingly obnoxious visual feature on the car also simultaneously lets people know that this is no ordinary vehicle - which in my opinion, is important for a million dollar car. I mean, did you really expect it to look like the SUV next door?

Luxury Meets Performance

What's interesting about the XM is that is straddles two very important pillars of the BMW brand. On one hand, it embodies all the luxury that people have come to associate with the BMW brand. On the other hand, it is also an M-exclusive car, and should technically, in this current context, be the halo car representative of the M brand and the performance that it stands for. It is not easy to achieve both things in one car, and while I wouldn't say that the XM nails it, it certain comes close, and in doing so, has done what little other cars have been able to do in the past, regardless of brand. It's an ultra luxurious vehicle that delivers brutal and mind boggling performance in the best way possible. Ultimately, I believe the XM to be a true statement piece for BMW - a show of strength if you will, that such a feat can be achieved.

While some camps might feel that the XM is over compromised in both the luxury and performance departments, it might be useful to think about things in another way. While sorting out my thoughts for this review, I found myself thinking about how one could purchase a track weapon like the new M2 Coupe along with the super luxurious iX for about the same money you'd require for an XM. While it seems like a rather logical thought, I don't think that's how the ultra wealthy think about things. There seems to be a certain fortitude and reverence associated with the ownership of a singularly expensive vehicle that supersedes a car's individual traits. To put it simply, the XM is not the sum of its parts - it is greater than the sum of its parts.

Setting a Future Tone For M Cars?

Putting aside the debate of whether or not the XM makes sense as product, the XM is an incredible vehicle to drive. Armed with BMW's legendary 4.4 litre V8 that is now mated to a plug-in hybrid system, the car puts out an astonishing 800Nm of torque that finds its way to the tarmac through all four wheels via an 8 speed automatic.

While this isn't BMW's first rodeo when it comes to performance oriented hybrid drivetrains, it is still particularly rewarding how to know that hybridisation has been applied from a perspective of performance. The seamlessness of the petrol and hybrid drivetrains acting in tandem is satisfying and the power is intoxicating, and the traction achieved in the face of such power is truly impressive and not to be scoffed at. If this is the way that M cars are to be built going forward, we might be in for a really interesting ride.

On the luxury side of things, it is also noteworthy that at lower speeds around town, where high powered performance vehicles typically struggle, the XM's hybrid drivetrain takes charge, and is capable of delivering approximately 80km of electric-only range, ensuring that the car feels light on its feet, and smooth to drive. In fact, this probably makes the XM one of the most refined M vehicles I've had the privilege of testing, and will be most enjoyable to the luxury oriented consumer.

Who will it Appeal to?

The XM is a beautiful piece of engineering that moves beyond the individual pillars of performance and luxury that it represents and will be for those who can appreciate the XM for the engineering marvel that it is. Understandably, we suspect it will also sit well with those looking for a head turner that stands out from the regular world of conventional luxury.


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