BMW says the XM is the first dedicated model since the M1, but the two models represent totally different philosophies. One is an extremely large and heavy SUV while the other was a low-slung, lightweight mid-engined supercar. Despite its heft, the new luxobarge is properly quick in a straight line, helped by a seriously powerful electrified V8. A new acceleration test followed by a top-speed run shows the XM at full tilt on the Autobahn.

How did it fare? The XM took 4.18 seconds from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h), thus proving once again BMW underrates the performance delivered by its M cars. It was nearly two-tenths of a second quicker than advertised, and a mighty impressive acceleration we might add given the curb weight of 2,710 kilograms (5,974 pounds). To put that number into perspective, a Lamborghini Urus Performante is a whopping 560 kg (1,234 lbs) lighter.

2023 BMW XM: First Drive Review

However, the XM is still considerably slower than the much cheaper X5 M Competition. A couple of years ago, the same folks from AutoTopNL tested the pre-facelift version of the smaller and lighter SUV and did the sprint in just 3.81 seconds. Perhaps the more powerful XM Label Red will get close to the performance delivered by the X5 M but the price gap between the two SUVs is even bigger.

The XM is the first of many plug-in hybrid M cars to come this decade, with the next-generation M5 being up next. The super saloon is rumoured to arrive in 2025 and might come along with an estate. The dynamic duo is expected to split the difference in terms of output between the XM and the XM Label Red by having a little over 700 bhp.

Meanwhile, BMW projects nearly half of XM demand to come from the United States (26 percent) and China (23 percent), followed by the Middle East (8 percent). Germany and South Korea are each expected to account for 7 percent of customers.