BMW’s Festival Of Flagships

By Afzal Rawuther

XM BRINGS THE DRAMA BMW’s new flagship SUV adds excitement to the luxury SUV space

BMW launched the XM plug-in hybrid at Rs. 2.60 crore (ex-showroom) at its inaugural Joytown event in Delhi. The XM sits at the very top of BMW’s lineup and is the first M model with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. It combines a 4.4-litre twinturbo V8 engine with an electric motor good for a combined total output of 653PS of power and 800Nm of torque. The petrol engine accounts for 489PS, mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox and as you’d expect from a large BMW SUV, power is sent to all four wheels using the M-tuned xDrive system. There is an even more powerful version of the XM, the Label Red, with 748PS of power and 1000Nm of torque that is expected to arrive in international markets late next year.

Performance, as you’d expect, is more than adequate with 0-100kmph delivered in 4.3 seconds. The hybrid nature of the powertrain allows you to drive around in pure EV mode for 80km. BMW has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at the XM — there’s adaptive M suspension, electronically controlled dampers and a 48V system with active anti-roll bars and rear-wheel steering.

The XM is about as large as the X7, but goes in an entirely different direction when it comes to the design. BMW has let its designers run wild with the XM, featuring a massive, illuminated kidney grille with gold accents, a split-headlamp setup and a number of aggressive cuts and creases all over the bodywork. There’s the option to choose from 21, 22 or 23-inch wheels on the XM.

The interiors aren’t as radical and the XM borrows from the iX and i4. That said, there are a number of unusual touches inside the cabin. Most prominent of them, is the overall execution of the ‘M Lounge’ for the rear seat passengers. Unlike other BMWs with their focus on driver comfort, the XM does things differently. There’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 14.9-inch infotainment screen. The flagship BMW SUV also gets some a suite of ADAS tech like adaptive cruise control, collision warning, lane-keep assist and more.

The XM finds itself uniquely positioned in the Indian luxury SUV space. While the pricing pits it against the likes of the Range Rover, it is inherently a very different kind of SUV. Sportier, driverfocused SUVs from some other brands are priced at a substantial premium over the XM and given the fact that there is a certain novelty to the way it looks, BMW might have a winner on its hands.

Reproduced with permission from Mansworldindia.com

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