The price of exclusivity: Driving the BMW G09 XM

Exclusivity. What does that mean exactly? Is it about rarity? Limited availability? Or is it the quality of possessing something extraordinary that only a select few can appreciate? As I ponder these questions, let me introduce you to the BMW XM. It’s BMW’s gift to itself, celebrating 50 years of M, and is undoubtedly their most outrageous series-model to date.

We’ve all heard the terms “dramatic” and “extravagant” thrown around when describing car designs, but the XM takes it to a whole new level. Its design is undeniably bold, with proportions that push the boundaries of conventional aesthetics.

BMW proudly claims that the XM is their first standalone M model since the iconic M1. While the M1 was a beautiful low-slung machine, the XM represents a complete departure from traditional automotive design thinking. The BMW XM, instead, employs deliberate aesthetic approaches where various elements and visual cues are combined in a seemingly chaotic manner to create a striking and impactful overall design.

The design of the BMW XM embraces contrasting elements that might initially seem chaotic. It combines sharp, aggressive lines with bold shapes and deliberate curves, creating a dynamic visual tension that catches everyone’s eye.

The XM’s body, also features complex surfaces with intricate and multifaceted concave and convex elements, where light and shadow play off each other, this complexity adds depth and dimension to the overall design.

The BMW XM’s exterior design also challenges traditional notions of car design by featuring unconventional proportions and unique styling cues. This departure from the norm contributes to the visual chaos, creating a sense of surprise and intrigue. Some might even detest it.

But despite the apparent chaos, the design elements of the BMW XM have been forged together in a way that feels intentional and almost harmonious, in an effort to deliver maximum visual impact and emotion.

This is what we call visual chaos. By incorporating diverse shapes, lines, colours, textures, and patterns in a way that might at first appear unconventional, the XM is able to command attention and evoke an emotional response, making the car stand out and leave a lasting impression.

Love it or loathe it, you will remember it.

Beneath its striking exterior, the XM houses a powerful heart—the 4.4-litre S68 V8 engine, augmented by an electrified drive system borrowed from BMW’s V8 Hybrid LMDh racing car. With a claimed power output of 653 horses and 800Nm of torque, the XM is no slouch. However, independent tests have shown even more impressive figures, with a dyno test by IND Distribution revealing 768 horsepower and a staggering 965Nm of torque. These numbers translate into exhilarating acceleration, launching the XM from 0 to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds. With your foot firmly planted, the XM responds with an immediate surge of power that thrusts you into the horizon with dramatic (yet, controlled) aggression.

But power is not the XM’s only forte. It also boasts advanced technology to handle its performance. With features like xDrive, a specially tuned differential, and an upgraded suspension system, the XM is able to not just punch it heavily down straights, but also, keenly take on plenty of corners, even in the wet, delivering a rather surprising and engaging driving experience with an agility you’d hardly expect from something with such generous exterior proportions.

Inside the XM, you’ll find a cabin that matches the vehicle’s audacious nature. The headliner is a visual highlight, illuminated along the sides with three-dimensional prisms trimmed in Alcantara create a unique 3-dimensional effect unseen in any other vehicle.

Utilizing soft nappa leather with a vintage finish, the coffee brown vintage leather with its creases, scars, and rough areas is both a visual and tactile treat when coupled with the blue merino leather seats and trim pieces. That said, some plastic parts and carbon fibre trim elements feel out of place, detracting quite a bit from the overall interior aesthetic.

For aural highlights, our BMW XM has also been equipped with the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system, 20 powerful speakers channelling 1,500 watts of audio pleasure. Dialled up, the audio emanating from its stainless steel trimmed speakers is truly sublime.

So there you have it, BMW’s latest and biggest gem, the XM. But what of exclusivity? Well, in the automotive world at least, I posit that exclusivity encapsulates the essence of limited access and coveted privileges. It is the state of something being restricted to a select few, granting them the opportunity to experience something truly exceptional. Exclusivity is striking design, exquisite materials, innovative features, unparalleled performance, and the promise of rarity. Exclusivity is the distinction of the BMW XM, but it doesn’t come cheap.

5 Key Takeaways for the BMW XM

  • It is the first bespoke M-only model since the BMW M1
  • There will be 3 variants of the BMW XM, all backed up by an electrical drive unit. A 4,4-litre S68 Twin-Turbo V8 producing a combined total of 644hp and 800Nm or torque, an “entry-level” 50e variant with a 3-.litre Twinpower Turbo Straight-6 producing a total of 469hp and 700Nm, and the flagship “Label Red” with a tweaked V8 from the standard XM that now pushes out a grand combined total of 738 hp and 1,000Nm of torque.
  • Whilst the above figures are from BMW’s spec sheet, actual figures from independent tests have yielded even bigger power figures. 768hp instead of 644, and a staggering 965Nm of torque instead 800Nm.
  • First ever BMW to feature a textured 3D-structural interior headliner and vintage leather finishing.
  • Price tag: S$1,010,888

What do we love? It’s visual presence.

What are we not too sure about? How long will its striking design last?

What can be improved? Interior could feel a lot more special for its price segment.

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