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  • Writer's pictureHDVE

BMW XM: A Mighty Hybrid



On The Outside With large, clearly designed surfaces this is one big, impressive car. It marks a change in BMW design, we feel, to more graphic shapes. Our images show the fresh interpretation of the twin LED headlights and that BMW ‘M’ kidney grille. There’s large front air intakes to let that V8 breathe and, for safety, sensor and camera systems for driver assistance are integrated discreetly into the front apron.

The adaptive LED Headlights are split into two separate areas. The daytime driving lights, side lights and turn indicators, each consisting of two LED units, appear to shine straight out of the lens covers. The low-beam and high-beam headlights, positioned in the lower, darkened area of the headlight units embedded in the front apron, only become visible when switched on. As standard, they also include a cornering light function and matrix high beam with BMW Selective Beam non-dazzling High-beam Assistant.

Out of the angular front end sharply cut flanks emerge, with a raked windscreen and long rearward swooping roofline emphasising the coupé-like character of this big five-door model. Its sporting aura is accentuated by a side window graphic that tapers towards the rear, bordered by a gold-coloured accent band. The flat, near seamlessly fitted rear window and flared wheel arches accentuate the powerful nature of the BMW XM. The slim rear lights jut out strikingly from the body, creating an attention-grabbing L shape and extending well into the sides of the car.

On The Inside Like the M-specific graphics of the BMW Curved Display and standard BMW Head-Up Display, the design of the control layout enhances a certain racing feel in the driver’s seat. The model-specific M leather steering wheel features M buttons and shift paddles with carbon inlays and red plus and minus symbols. Trim elements in Black Chrome give the multifunction buttons a sophisticated look. The gear selector lever with its distinctive cut-out, integrated cascade lighting and Drivelogic buttons, centre console knee pads, M pedals and M driver’s footrest create the perfect BMW M recipe. The standard specification also includes Merino leather and illuminated brushed aluminium front and rear door sill plates bearing the M logo. The BMW XM features M multifunction front seats as standard with electric adjustment for the seat position, head restraint height, thigh support, backrest angle, backrest width and backrest upper section, plus an illuminated M logo on the head restraints, pneumatic lumbar support adjustment and memory function. Seat heating is standard, along with seat ventilation and massage function for the front seats. That’s a pretty comprehensive chair workout.

High-quality interior surfaces contribute to the cockpit’s exclusive appearance. The BMW Curved Display sits on a matt carbon decorative surface, repeated on the centre console, while M-typical carbon elements in the instrument panel combine with wide air vent surrounds. The surrounds of the outer air vents directly border the metal surfaces of the matching door control panels. The door openers and buttons for the electric windows, seat adjustment and memory function, central locking and tailgate opener, are all positioned on these panels. A generous feeling of space, high-quality materials and extravagant design transform the rear of the BMW XM into an exclusive lounge, so says the company. The rear seat bench offers two outer seats with high levels of comfort and a full-size space for a third centre passenger. The SUV features four-zone automatic climate control as standard and a separate control panel allows rear passengers to select their desired temperature independently.

A standard nanoparticle filter keeps the air inside the vehicle free of ‘virus-sized particles and allergens’, to help the occupants breathe more easily. Crucially, sounds are courtesy of a Harmon Kardon 16 speaker set-up. The comprehensive list of safety gear includes Driving Assistant, which comprises Front Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning including lane return with steering assistance, Evasion Assistant, Alertness Assistant and Speed Limit Info system including no-overtaking indicator and manual Speed Limit Assist and much more with powerful brakes to match.

The Power At the heart of the hybrid drive system is a new, high-revving V8 engine with cutting-edge M ‘TwinPower’ Turbo technology. The extensively updated, 4.4 litre engine features a reinforced crankshaft drive, further developed turbocharging mounted close to the exhaust manifold with an electrically controlled blow-off valve, a new vane-type oil pump and a weight-minimised plastic oil sump. First reports say that the new V8 engine stands out with its appetite for revs and relentless power across a wide engine speed band. The 650Nm of peak torque generated by the combustion engine alone is on tap from 1,600-5,000rpm, with maximum output of 489bhp at 5,400rpm, making it the largest contributor to the total output of 653hp and 800Nm of torque. The drive system can hit a maximum 7,200rpm.

The V8 engine in the BMW XM is supported by a permanently excited synchronous motor integrated into the eight-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission. The electric motor contributes up to 197bhp to the maximum output of 653bhp, while its 280Nm combines with the combustion engine’s 650Nm to achieve a combined torque figure of800Nm: That’s real pulling power.

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