When it comes to bespoke performance cars from the three big German luxury brands, Audi has the R8 while Mercedes offers the AMG GT 4-Door Coupe, with the F1-engined One hypercar coming soon. What about BMW? The Vision M Next concept fitted that bill as well, but it never materialised as plans for a production version were dropped.
It seems a standalone M car is still on its way, and what was originally believed to be an M version of the X8 SUV will be a bespoke high-performance Bimmer. Our friends at BMWBLOG have it on good authority the vehicle's official name will be XM rather than X8 M. Now, why does that moniker sound familiar? Citroën sold a front-wheel-drive hatchback from 1989 until 2000 with the XM nameplate and hydropneumatic suspension before replacing it with the C5 a year later.
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Allegedly codenamed "Project Rockstar," the new flagship SUV from Bavaria is rumoured to enter production in December 2022 and apparently exit the assembly line in November 2027, giving it a slightly shorter-than-usual life cycle of five years. Wheels as large as 23 inches are on the agenda, along with a sophisticated rear differential as standard equipment. It'll supposedly get a high-tech autonomous driving system by mid-2023, but the real magic will be happening underneath the bonnet.
Even though it's not going to be a modern revival of the 1970s M1 with the engine mounted in the middle, the XM will have an interesting powertrain if the reports are to be believed. The twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 is said to join forces with an electric motor and push output to well beyond 700 bhp. It would dethrone the 626-bhp M5 CS as the most powerful BMW production car.
In regards to pricing, BMWBLOG reports the XM fitted with all the bells and whistles could cost at least €180,000. That works out to approximately £155,000 at current exchange rates or almost double the starting price of an X3 M in the United Kingdom.