BMW Says XM SUV Will Redefine High Performance

Design / 5 Comments

Seriously sophisticated suspension aims to make the XM easy to handle.

The BMW XM, previewed by the Concept XM revealed last year, is a challenging thing to appreciate, but it has certain redeeming qualities. Among them is its potent powertrain, but we're struggling to think of any others at the moment. As great as that hybrid system will be, this is a standalone M car, and it needs to do more than just accelerate hard; it needs to handle like it's on rails. Sadly, recent videos of the SUV undergoing testing at the Nurburgring have suggested that it's got a long way to go, but we're not the only ones who think that the XM is far from a true M car at the moment. BMW recognizes the problem too and is still enhancing its handling and will likely be doing so until its reveal, scheduled for sometime before the end of this year.

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BMW
BMW
BMW

Unlike the 750-horsepower Concept XM, the production version will make 643 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque and is expected to manage around 30 miles of electric range. It seems that aiming for 750 horses is too high a target for the first XM, and BMW likely wants to make more money out of a lesser model, but whatever the reason for this decision, BMW says that it is "in the final phase" of its series development process for the car and that, when it's ready, the XM will "redefine high performance, luxury, and sovereignty." In any case, a more powerful version akin to a Competition model (but with a different name) will be coming with around 100 hp more than the debutant.

To achieve that, engineers have created the first hybrid-specific M xDrive four-wheel-drive system, which includes an electronically controlled differential lock in the rear axle transmission. But that's not all - the XM needs some special suspension upgrades.

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BMW
BMW
BMW

BMW is also fitting the SUV with Adaptive M Professional suspension with model-specific springs and electronically controlled shock absorbers. Complementing these is - for the first time in a BMW M car - an electromechanical roll stabilizing system with 48-volt technology. The Active Roll Comfort function has been added to this, "reducing rolling movements due to uneven road surfaces on one side," and actively adjusting the body height on that side of the vehicle. Integral Active Steering is also standard for the first time in a BMW M car, while unique brakes and 50:50 weight distribution further aid the big machine in handling with some aplomb. We'll have to wait to drive it to give our verdict on whether these enhancements have worked, but in the meantime, the X7 is doing a fine job of polarizing opinions while driving better than you expect.

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BMW
BMW
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BMW
BMW

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