Home » The New BMW XM Is Extremely Ugly And Surprisingly Heavy

The New BMW XM Is Extremely Ugly And Surprisingly Heavy

Bmw Xm Topshot

You might want to ask your children to step out of the room, lest they be frightened by the sight of this behemoth. This is the new BMW XM, and although it may look bad, I promise that its appearance isn’t its most troubling part.

Bmw Xm 3364 1
Photo credit: BMW

Upon seeing leaked photos earlier this year, I had hope that maybe the XM wouldn’t look so bad. There’s a chance that under the protective wrapping, BMW cleaned up some of the fussy details on the front clip. Nope. Claus Luthe is rolling over in his grave so violently that Olaf Scholz could hook up a generator and use Luthe’s corpse to solve the German energy crisis. It’s like the design team was given a budget of eight pixels and told to make do.

While there are some interesting ideas on the XM when viewed in a vacuum, the composition leaves much to be desired. Chicken vindaloo tastes good, and a milkshake also tastes good, but I wouldn’t want a chicken vindaloo milkshake, if you catch my drift. Also, these wheels look like they’re from a Hummer H2, just scaled up to cartoonish levels through the Xerox. The standard front tire size is 275/35R23, which seems a bit stupid. Do you really want an SUV with just 3.8 inches of sidewall?

front driving
Photo credit: BMW

Things aren’t any better in the power department. Care to guess how much the S68 twin-turbo V8 makes in this application? Nope, just 483 horsepower. That’s 40 horsepower fewer than the X7 M60i. The XM’s detuned S68 is, however, assisted by an electric motor, which earns a dismissive wanking gesture from me. While electric assistance of 194 horsepower is fine, and peak combined output of 644 horsepower is more than an Alpina XB7 makes, BMW’s committed a cardinal sin here.

See, electrification is very heavy, so it only makes sense to use a lighter gasoline engine if you’re seeking reasonable range and performance from a plug-in hybrid. Something like the S58 inline-six found in the BMW M3, for example. BMW has instead gone with a fairly heavy V8 to pair with a 19.2 kWh battery pack, which means that the XM weighs 6,062 pounds. I repeat, 6,062 pounds.

Xm Dynamic Ii 7767
Photo credit: BMW

In an attempt to counteract the massive curb weight of the XM, BMW’s fitted it with four-wheel-steering. That explains why the steering ratio is a rather slow 16.2:1. However, four-wheel-steering likely won’t be able to overcome the laws of physics. Trust me, there hasn’t been a single three-ton vehicle I’ve driven that hasn’t felt its weight in the corners. Oh, and heavy cars take a lot of energy to move, which explains why the XM has a projected all-electric range of just 30 miles from a relatively capacious battery pack and the same 4.1-second zero-to-sixty time as an X5 M50i.

Xm Int 149 Kopie
Photo credit: BMW

While BMW’s pumped out some really innovative interiors lately, the interior on the production XM isn’t one of them. The dashboard is a fairly standard mix of leather, metal, and plastic, nothing like the crazy illuminated trim seen on the new 7-Series. While the color combination shown in the press photos is certainly outlandish, BMW isn’t exactly known for only offering reserved interior colors. The blue-and-yellow combination on the new M3 comes immediately to mind, as do some of the crazier Individual program requests. The only really interesting thing going on in here is the prism-like Alcantara headliner. A bit of a shame considering how much further BMW could’ve taken things.

Bmw Xm 2241 1 Kopie
Photo credit: BMW

So, let’s recap. The BMW XM is no quicker from zero-to-sixty than an X5 M50i, has a turbocharged V8 engine less powerful than the S58 found in the M3 Competition, weighs as much as a rhinoceros, and looks like some horrible accident happened to the clay model. This isn’t an Ultimate Driving Machine. This is a hideous, warthog-nosed, bloated, 6,000-pound oaf of a vehicle, designed to be bought by people you’d never want round for dinner. What’s more, this is supposed to be BMW’s centerpiece for the 50th birthday of its M division. It’s the least-M M-car BMW makes. Anyway, if you have poor taste and far too much money to spend, the XM will start at $159,995 including a $995 freight charge. Yes, that’s in American dollars.

For those of you who actually made it to the end of this article, here’s a brief palate cleanser.

1989 Citroen Nuccio Bertone

Yep, much better. Now there’s a wonderful XM.

Lead photo credit: BMW

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101 Responses

  1. Hmm, I would have made the brand Iconic front JUST a little big bigger. Jokes aside, nothing is casual. I often think that these multinational companies are actually brutal unhuman monsters, with the head on profits and greediness and multimillions researches of marketing to keep up the things together.. Trends, needs, costs, strategies, performance, research etc etc..but in the end of the story, it’s just another greedy company, and nothing can be hidden too long..I believe this design well represents the brutality of these modern Frankestein. Well, I appreciate the tentative to change, be bold, be young. Compliments for the tentative, Mr Frankestein.

  2. Um. How is that weight surprising. An SUV with a big ol V8 is already easily 5k lbs. Add a hybrid system to a 5500lb SUV and yeah, easily 6k. You were making it sound like this thing was gonna be 7 or 8k lbs.

    1. It’s still under the M badge and should be performance focused. I think his point is that 6k lbs is not going to do anything for performance. They went with possibly the worst powertrain setup for power to weight ratio and don’t appear to have tried to save any weight elsewhere

  3. $159,995 for one of the ugliest vehicles ever produced by any carmaker! Truly repulsive from just about every angle, especially anywhere the Pep-Boys boy racer metal side trim is visible. The much earlier namesake from Citroen puts the BMW to shame. Fire the entire design team and start fresh!

    1. This has TWO power systems and an interior that probably weighs at few times that of a 90s truck. It will also be just a bit safer in an accident. Not saying I like it but why are people surprised by this weight when a cayenne hybrid is almost as heavy and a Charger weighs as much as a modern truck?

        1. I’m with you 100%. But I think even in this case, the powertrain seems to be what’s adding most of the weight. It’s not even like it’s stronger bodywork or anything. I doubt it’s safe for anyone. Just a 6k-lb missile driven by people yelling into their phones on a business call or texting and driving or screaming at their kids

  4. I really think a group of blokes in the BMW design team got absolutely white-claw wasted one night and made a pact that they’ll show the world that Chris Bangle wouldn’t be allowed to continue wearing the “ugliest BMW design” crown. This is the only reasonable explanation I can come up with for BMW’s current design philosophy. It has to be.

  5. Ugly ✔️
    Heavy ✔️
    Inefficient ✔️

    Yep, it’s the Ultimate Driving Machine ™

    With two drive system, it certainly weighs as much as 2 vehicles lmao. I can’t wait until we get back to lighter, efficient and good looking vehicles. Because this gaudy excess is just disgusting.

    1. The comment I was thinking about making.
      An addition is that it is so expensive, so ugly, and so heavy; it will be an utterly, totally, completely a sales triumph.

  6. Its like an angry but very sleepy member of the mammalian order Rodentia.

    Waitohthankgod, Its ok! Its a M series! Nevermind, looks great since its an M Series!

  7. While I don’t think it’s as violently ugly as the current 4-series snout, I don’t think it’s a great looker either.
    But BMW is a company intent on making money (as is every company out there) and let’s be honest, robo-origami-tank aesthetic is what sells nowadays.

  8. When I was a lad, I saw the new Citroen XM in Car magazine and thought ‘oh dear that looks a bit fussy’…. about the same time as the E34 5 series, which looked absolutely right. The BMW XM looks like a dystopian nightmare car of the future drawn in the 80s. By a child.

  9. So I went to BMWs site to take a better look at this. When looking at a heads on front end picture, it dawned on me, it looks like an angry pig.

    This is one ugly car. I think it is actually uglier than the i3, which I always thought was ugly.

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  11. our infrastructure is already crumbling, can’t wait to see what happens when everyone is driving a 6k lb EV, which don’t contribute to gas taxes to pay for said infrastructure

  12. My only experience with a BMW was when my elderly parents rented one to head up to PEI Canada. Bad idea. When a tire picked up a screw and went flat in northern Maine there was no store that had anything available, not in Canada either. No spare since it was “run flat”. Except when you have a 9 hour drive to make and it’s a weekend you end up pumping it with a compressor every 20 minutes on the highway. Tire was HOT… Who carries low profile 20” tires for heavy SUVs up north? Nobody. It turned their vacation into a nightmare. PEI Canada was lovely though.

  13. I am reminded of the quote, reportedly from Mencken, that ‘no one ever went broke underestimating the taste or intelligence of the American public.’
    I am also reminded of a quote from my dear old dad; ‘You only deserve what you sit still for.’

  14. Just when we’re starting to get used to beaver teeth, they out-do themselves once again.

    Let’s see some comparisons: You want badge recognition, with a super nice interior and ride? Range Rover Autobiography is about the same price.
    Want to be more efficient and drive fast? Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is your jam.
    I don’t love the looks of the Cayenne, but it doesn’t seem to be purposefully ugly.

    Great work BMW….

  15. Sitting with this design for the past 24 hours, I’m actually leaning into it now. Even the gold accents are working for me. Yes, a new(ish) direction from the design team, but I can see elements of the new M3 here (and some old models). This model is supposed to lead the company forward. I think this may age better than a lot of contemporary BMWs, but we’ll have to wait a while to find out…

    ’80s called and wants its XM back. Scary here in the future.

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