Home » This Might Be The 2023 BMW XM: BMW’s New SUV King

This Might Be The 2023 BMW XM: BMW’s New SUV King

Bmw Xm Leak 1
ADVERTISEMENT

BMW’s M division has been awfully busy for its 50th birthday. While the next M2 may be the car everyone wants, the upcoming XM SUV may be the high-margin product the M division needs. Pictures shot by an anonymous photographer and passed along by a friend to The Autopian appear to show a right-hand-drive production-spec BMW XM covered in a bare minimum of protective plastic. There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s get into things.

The 2023 BMW XM is a new flagship SUV set to become the first M-only model since the BMW M1 supercar. If this seems distasteful to you, you’re not the only one who feels that way. While M originally stood for Motorsport, it sure seems to stand for Marketing these days. Hey, what better for marketing than a 650-horsepower plug-in hybrid super SUV? BMW has already confirmed in a press release that production will start this December in Spartanburg, S.C., so expect a full official reveal in the coming months. With that out of the way, let’s talk about the styling we see here.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Bmw Xm Leak 5

Looking at the side profile, this thing is absolutely huge. More importantly, every styling element on this SUV is enormous. Massive shiny black plastic cladding? Check. Available 23-inch wheels? Check. A front end blunter than a Kenworth? Check. This thing is an absolute monolith. It’s also very low-poly. What do I mean by this? You know how character modeling looks in GoldenEye for the N64? That’s low-poly. Blocky, angular, simplistic. The wheel arches on this BMW are slightly squared-off, the fender lines are squared off, the windscreen meets the roof and hood at sharp angles. Yet despite this very simple design language and Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport-like silhouette, there are still many interesting details plastered onto this SUV.

Just for a second, imagine that there’s only paint under the protective film on the right front door. You’re picturing an enormous amount of metal between the plastic rocker panel/lower door cladding and the greenhouse, right? To break this up, BMW’s plunged the window trim down the body side, terminating it on the front fender. It certainly looks weird and it’s arguably a lazy way of breaking up the bodyside, but this trim element certainly does its job of tricking the eye. More importantly, it’s an opportunity to bring in some interesting color. A partially-covered photo seems to show that this body trim isn’t just a typical chrome piece, appearing gold-hued even without direct golden hour lighting. Interesting. Equally interesting are the low-poly inserts on the door handles, a weird sort of diamond pattern that echoes the interior trim on the new 7-Series.

ADVERTISEMENT

Xm Leak 2

Moving on to the back, this SUV seems fairly faithful to the XM concept, which by the way, looks like this:

Image: BMW

While the tail lights are still masked up, it’s fairly easy to see their silhouettes sweeping far along the hatch. The XM concept’s etched emblems in the rear glass make an appearance, as do the unusual stacked quad exhaust tips. However, none of these elements will be as controversial as the massive design crime on the rear bumper. Look at how far that shiny black plastic extends upward! Who on earth thought that would look good? It’s lazy, it makes a farce of the diffuser-style element and it’s generally uninspired. Throw the horizontal character line sweeping through both rear reflectors and it’s safe to say that this is one incredibly busy rear end. Oh dear.

Bmw Xm Leak 1

ADVERTISEMENT

Compared to the rear of the BMW XM, the front might not be so bad. Despite the protective plastic on the corners of the vehicle, it’s really easy to see the split headlamp treatment and substantial air curtains, both of which flow well with the lines of the vehicle. Sure, the kidney grilles are roughly the size of two Changlis, but they appear wider than they are tall and stop well above the license plate mount. Throw in the fairly conventional lower grille and it really seems like BMW’s getting the hang of the big kidneys. The most polarizing part of the front end will likely be the double-bubble hood. While I get what BMW’s going with given the XM’s V8 engine, the bubble proportions are definitely outlandish.

Bmw Xm Leak 3

Right, that’s the outside covered, but what about the inside? Well, the dashboard on this vehicle is covered up but there are some interesting hints on offer. Let’s start with what we can see. The good news is that the steering wheel and shifter are proper parts-bin items. Not only does the wheel look identical to the one on other M cars, it’s a great steering wheel so I’m glad BMW didn’t try to reinvent it. There’s no capacitive-touch nonsense, everything is logically laid-out and the M mode Shrek ears are a nifty touch. As for the shifter, I’m glad it’s not a push-button affair like on the iX and new 7-Series because push-button shifters don’t really solve much. They’re not space-efficient, they’re not always intuitive and they’re reasonably complex from a component standpoint. Replacing one joystick assembly with integrated switches for shifter release and park with four or five individual buttons and switches doesn’t sound brilliant from an assembly standpoint.

The other clues on offer really just pertain to color options and equipment. This unit has blue leather on the console which is freaking awesome to see. I know, I know. Black interiors hide stains and sell well, but who doesn’t love a pop of color? If you’re spending six figures on a car, why would you order a boring one? White contrast stitching on the console is a nice touch, although a fairly expected one. Also expected is the metal-trimmed tweeter poking out of the left front door, typically part of BMW’s optional Bowers & Wilkins audio systems. Let’s hope the system in the XM features nice clarity and B&W’s signature warm sound.

Close-up side shot

ADVERTISEMENT

Well there we have it, an SUV that could very well be the BMW XM. Honestly, it’s both uglier and less ugly than I expected. I definitely can’t say I’m a fan, but there’s a lot of dreadful car design on the market these days. It’ll take feats of magic to make the XM drive like a proper performance vehicle, but I’m sure it’ll be great at parking up outside of Nobu. Hey, if ultra-lux SUVs help finance projects like the upcoming M2, I’m all for it. After all, if the margins on the Cayenne helped save Porsche, maybe the margins on the XM will help save the M cars we all know and love?

Hat-tip to Scott for passing along the photos and getting us permission to publish them.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
34 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
David Berg
David Berg
1 year ago

From the front I’m reminded of a RAV4. From the side, of an Outback. Neither are the kind of things that would lead me to want to spend BMW $$$ on this.

cgeorgemo70
cgeorgemo70
1 year ago

Headline” This Might Be the 2023 BMW XM”

Literally there is a badge on the horrible belt line trim that says X///M.

PaysOutAllNight
PaysOutAllNight
1 year ago
Reply to  cgeorgemo70

And Grandpa wears his belt way too high.

cgeorgemo70
cgeorgemo70
1 year ago

“White contrast stitching on the console is a nice touch, although a fairly expected one.”

Huh? Are we looking at the same pictures? When I zoomed in the stiching seemed to be matching.

Truecoat Extracharge
Truecoat Extracharge
1 year ago

That isn’t an XM, this is an XM. Get off my lawn, too.

View post on imgur.com

Truecoat Extracharge
Truecoat Extracharge
1 year ago

(Looks around desperately for the edit button)
https://i.imgur.com/O2mc1oW.jpeg

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
1 year ago

People with functional eyes actually pay money for these things?

Between ugly designed modern cars, the insane pricing, their lack of “right to repair” ability, I think it’s older used cars for me for the rest of my life.

W Bizarre
W Bizarre
1 year ago

I shall pick the door handles to complain about, since others took everything else. BMW makes a bunch of slim, flush door handles right now. The new 2 series has one variety, the iX and new 7 have another. Dukec made a big hoopla about the door handles being integrated into that trim piece on the concept, and it seems like it would have been possible with one of the other door handle designs BMW currently makes. But instead, they plonk down these big honkers. They try to dress them up with some fancy inlays… but it’s not the same.

Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
1 year ago

BMW had to out-obnoxious the G-Wagon and Range Rover somehow. Soon to be street parked outside a Los Angeles apartment complex after it gets a salvage title.

Tesla
Tesla
1 year ago

You may not see the children as you run them over, but they may catch a glimpse of your chrome trimming thoughtfully positioned well below the window. Nice touch, BMW.

Ben
Ben
1 year ago
Reply to  Tesla

Wow, I missed that in the glut of other ugly design elements, but it’s hilarious that beltlines have been rising for styling reasons and now they’re trying to fake a lower beltline instead of just making the windows bigger.

Angry Dorito
Angry Dorito
1 year ago

There is not a single design element I like about this.

Philip Dunlop
Philip Dunlop
1 year ago

Here’s hoping the white camouflage cladding from the pics is a popular option.????

Danny Zabolotny
Danny Zabolotny
1 year ago

It’s absolutely hideous and is a mockery of everything that BMW and ///M once stood for.

Dusty Hornblower
Dusty Hornblower
1 year ago

M for Moronic, but who am I to judge what sells these days. Just look at all the egg shaped faux coupe SUVs festooned with performance bits. A bit like a grandmother with tats and a vajazzle.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 year ago

I want to see this in a Lemmons race in about 17 years

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 year ago

Satellite radio comes standard

InWayOverMyHead
InWayOverMyHead
1 year ago

It’s a GD cartoon of itself. What happened to classic BMW design like the Bavaria, 2002, csi?

Now get off my lawn. I need a nap.

Rod Millington
Rod Millington
1 year ago

Or E38! AKA peak 90s and beyond BMW.

Kody Dagley
Kody Dagley
1 year ago

That’s a solid and utter ‘meh’ from me, thanks.

Dusty Kornphartz
Dusty Kornphartz
1 year ago

Perhaps the good folks at the Autopian Linguistic Labs and Day Spa could come up with a name for these ballooning grill sizes as well as the succinct Aerosion term they came up with the other day.

Rafael
Rafael
1 year ago

Gratuitous Grille?

Beasy Mist
Beasy Mist
1 year ago

All I can see is the pig snout emoji.

Dave Horchak
Dave Horchak
1 year ago

Yeah except for size of the grille I like the looks.

unclesam
unclesam
1 year ago

Jeeze, it looks like an aztek got stung by hornets. Or a cyberpunk warthog. Neither of these is a good thing.

I do like the blue leather as a change of pace, but otherwise yikes.

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
1 year ago

That accent trim on the side just looks cheap.

Justin Haas
Justin Haas
1 year ago

I mean, of course I hate it, but it’s not for me. Not now, not used, not even aspirationally.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 year ago
Reply to  Justin Haas

“not even aspirationally”

Bingo! This is not a dream car but a blovated nightmare of leadfooted tailgating rear view mirror filling beaver teeth and or hog snout depending on your interpretation.

Mr E
Mr E
1 year ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Definitely wearing New York plates.

Citrus
Citrus
1 year ago

The side profile makes it look like someone misread the planned dimensions and had to add a full foot of car to the back at the last minute.

Joshua Nelson
Joshua Nelson
1 year ago

Stop the large grill madness BMW! I am not likely to purchase a BMW, but the large grill significantly lowers the chances of that ever happening.

JohnTaurus
JohnTaurus
1 year ago
Reply to  Joshua Nelson

But how else will you know this isn’t the latest Korean crossover blob?

eldesonbenrobot turds
eldesonbenrobot turds
1 year ago

Apparently the whole design process for BMW vehicular designers is to take the previous version’s grill and make it BIGGER. And of course the next gen will be even….. BIIIGGGEEER~~~!

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
1 year ago

The ‘longer, lower, wider’ mantra of the Harley Earl era has become ‘taller, fatter, grillier’.

34
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x