BMW M, the famous automaker's subsidiary in charge of high-performance vehicles, has introduced its second standalone model over 40 years after the M1 was first sold to the public. The new vehicle is a plug-in hybrid model called the Concept XM, and it's apparently the most powerful BMW M car to ever go into series production. It will use the company's newly developed M Hybrid drive system that combines a V8 engine with a high-performance electric motor. That will give the vehicle an all-electric range of 80km (50 miles), the capability to make 750 horsepower and to reach peak torque of 1,000 Nm (737 lb-ft).
In addition to being the second-ever pure M model, Concept XM is also the subsidiary's first electrified vehicle in the high-performance segment. That "points the way for the future of the M brand," the company's announcement says, which hints at more electric-powered cars in the future.
It will be the first car to sport BMW's new front-end design, as well. Based on Concept XM's images, BMW's front ends will have split headlights and near-octagonal kidney grills between them bearing the vehicle's logo. The company calls the vehicle's overall design "a highly progressive and distinctive take on BMW X," but not everyone would use those adjectives to describe it — BBC's Top Gear sounds downright disappointed with how it looks. Inside, there's a driver-focused cockpit, brown leather and BMW's curved screen for its infotainment system.
The series production version of the vehicle — the BMW XM — will start production by the end of 2022. It will be manufactured at the BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in the USA and will be available as a plug-in hybrid model only.