In an ideal world, the title for the most powerful production BMW would go to a mid-engined supercar acting as an M1 successor. However, sport utility vehicles are still a license to print money for automakers, so Bavaria's most potent model is a large SUV. Meet the XM in its spicy Label Red specification. It's a 5,110 millimetre (201.2-inch) long vehicle riding on 23-inch wheels set to make its public debut next week at the Auto Shanghai 2023 in China.
While the regular XM makes do with "only" 644 bhp and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-metres) of torque, the Label Red ups the ante by packing a colossal 738 bhp and 738 lb-ft (1,000 Nm). It uses an uprated configuration of the "S68" engine, a newly developed twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 that works together with an electric motor built into the eight-speed automatic transmission. All that oomph is channelled to the xDrive system featuring a Sand mode for driving over dunes.
BMW XM Label Red (2023)
On its own, the brawny combustion engine now produces 577 bhp and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) or an extra 94 bhp and 74 lb-ft (100 Nm) over the standard model. The electric motor is good for 194 bhp and 207 lb-ft (279 Nm), thus mirroring the standard XM. Much like in the base model, there's a pre-gearing stage to boost maximum torque to 332 lb-ft (452 Nm) at the transmission input for the motor.
Courtesy of the newly gained muscle, BMW says the XM Label Red sprints to 60 mph in as little as 3.7 seconds or four-tenths of a second quicker than the regular variant. Flat out, it’ll reach an electronically limited 155 mph (250 km/h) or 175 mph (282 km/h) if you opt for the M Driver's Package, in which case the special version is 7 mph (11 km/h) faster than the standard XM with the same optional kit.
To set it apart from the normal XM, BMW applies Toronto Red accents on the side of the sporty luxobarge as well as around the mighty kidney grille. You'll also notice the red inserts on the wheels and for the diffuser's contour. In addition, the XM badges are also red, and so are the brake calipers. The Label Red will be offered with over 50 Individual paints at no extra charge as an alternative to the regular Brooklyn Grey metallic. The Munich-based marque specifies only a "small number" of vehicles will be sold with this Frozen Carbon Black matte exterior paint.
The red accents continue inside where there's a "1/500" inscription denoting the model's limited availability. The two-tone leather upholstery is reserved for the XM Label Red, which also gets a symbol identifying Boost Mode on the left-hand shift paddle. The trim strip in carbon fibre with a satin effect is also exclusive to the special edition.
Following its premiere at Auto Shanghai 2023 next week, the XM Label Red will go into production at the Spartanburg plant in South Carolina this August with UK deliveries commencing in autumn. UK pricing starts at £170,860 which is a considerable step up from the £148,060 BMW is charging for the standard XM.