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BMW Malaysia premieres the XM - hybrid high performance high rider from RM1.31 million

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BMW Malaysia premieres the XM - hybrid high performance high rider from RM1.31 million

BMW Malaysia has debuted the XM, the first electrified plug-in hybrid SUV (or SAV - Sports Activity Vehicle - in this automaker’s parlance) to wear the badge of the M division and the newest entrant into their high performance family.

The car brought here is technically a pre-production 'prototype' XM, but is pretty much identical save for a few minor alterations. Two variants are available, or more accurately trim levels: Shadow Line or Night Gold Line - both are officially advertised with an on-the-road price of RM1,398,000 inclusive of the extended warranty package (up to 5 years) and service package.

However, without the service package and with the standard 2-year warranty left unextended, the XM is priced at RM1,316,450.

2023 BMW XM Malaysia - Prototype

Following this, the vehicle itself is set to arrive for prompt deliveries this June to select customers that managed to get their names on the books quickly enough. Considering that series production for the XM only began in December 2022, it highlights the importance of the Malaysian market to the brand. This preview also coincides with the XM’s first-ever Thai presence at the ongoing Bangkok International Motor Show.

Hans de Visser, Managing Director of BMW Group Malaysia, expresses, “We are beyond thrilled to introduce the First-Ever BMW XM to Malaysia. This exclusive Sports Activity Vehicle is the first-ever BMW M GmbH high-performing car to feature an M HYBRID drive system, thus extending the realm of e-mobility within the high-performance car segment in Malaysia,”

2023 BMW XM Malaysia - Prototype

“It is an electrifying reinvention of automotive ideals and the extreme performance characteristics will make every drive a luxurious experience for our Malaysian customers and supporters.”

We won’t get into its looks too much other than to say that it’s divisive to say the least and definitely anything but subtle. If that snout with those unapologetic kidney grilles weren’t enough, you’ll be delighted to know they’re also illuminated.

The XM is also very large, considerably more so than any other BWM to wear the M badge, measuring at just over 5 metres in length (5,110mm), 1,755mm in height, and is 2,004mm wide. Compared even to the fully electric iX, the XM is larger by every dimension as well as heavier with a kerb weight of 2.7 tonnes.

2023 BMW XM Malaysia - Prototype

With a full load of passengers and their luggage, you’re probably going to tip the scales north of 3 tonnes, nearing the limits (3,500kg) of what the JPJ deems legal to operate with a Competent Driving License, CDL.

By contrast the, XM does have a very M car-like 490hp twin-turbo V8 petrol engine (S68) up front. However, it’s aided by a 196PS electric motor housed within its 8-speed automatic gearbox to send a total of 653PS and 800Nm to the driveline - a power figure only outdone by the Red Label version.

Its M xDrive permanent 4-wheel drive system very clever as well in managing power deliver to each corner, and even boasts a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.3 seconds. Top speed, meanwhile, is electronically capped at 250km/h.

2023 BMW XM Malaysia - Prototype

The M HYBRID system is fed by a pretty massive (for a hybrid) 25.7kWh battery that contributes to its lower than usual centre of gravity, even for a vehicle as high off the ground as this. Without evoking the engine or using a drop of petrol, the XM can manage an 88km journey on battery power alone. AC charging tops out at just 7.4kWh with a complete recharge taking 4 hours and 15 minutes.

To keep everything in check from a dynamic perspective, Adaptive M Suspension Professional is fitted as standard, as are electronically controlled dampers and Active Roll Stabilisation that reduces lateral body movements. Besides that, Integral Active Steering is another component of the chassis design – by turning the rear wheels in tandem with the front wheel at higher speeds. Conversely, the rear wheels instead steer in the opposite direction of the front wheels at lower speeds for better manoeuvrability.

2023 BMW XM Malaysia - Prototype

Inside, the XM defines its cabin as an M Lounge - yes, seriously. There’s Alcantara, leather, and carbon fibre trim finishes as well as the BMW Curved Display (a 12.3-inch Information Display, which works in tandem with the 14.9-inch Control Display) that showcases the latest iDrive interface and infotainment features.

Other than this, there’s 4-zone climate control, active seat ventilation, massaging seats for the front passengers, ambient lighting and a premium Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System.

Exterior colour offerings for the First-Ever BMW XM include Cape York Green, Carbon Black, Marina Bay Blue, Toronto Red, Mineral White, Black Sapphire and Dravit Grey. As for interior upholstery, available offerings include Leather Merino Deep Lagoon with exclusive contents, Leather Merino Silverstone with exclusive contents, Leather Merino Black and Leather Merino Sakhir Orange.

2023 BMW XM Malaysia - Prototype

Equipped as standard is the Driving Assistant Professional, which includes features such as Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Automatic Speed Limit Assist, Lane Change Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go, Lane Departure Warning, Front/Rear Crossing Traffic Warning, Emergency Stop Assistant and Evasion Assistant.

On the other hand, the standard Parking Assistant Plus includes Reversing Assist, Lateral Parking Aid, Active Park Distance Control, and Surround View system. Other safety features include the Attentiveness Assistant, Acoustic Protection for Pedestrians and Active Protection.

Jim Kem

Jim Kem

Content Producer

There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.

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