The veil has finally been lifted on the new BMW XM 2023, a large plug-in hybrid SUV with insane power, but a somewhat disappointing range in 100% electric mode.
While BMW has been lagging behind some of its rivals in terms of the electrification of its range, the German company has been working hard to close the gap for the past few years. And to reach its objectives. Indeed, the company plans to have half of its range electrified by the end of the decade, with a third of its models being 100 percent electric.
BMW XM 2023: CRAZY PERFORMANCE ON PAPER
While the brand with the propeller now offers a wide range of electric cars, with the i3, i4, iX, iX3, and i7, it also continues to believe in rechargeable hybrids. That’s why, in November 2021, it unveiled the BMW XM 2023 concept, a large electrified SUV announced as the most potent model in the range.
A few months later, the production version finally saw the light of day, revealing its rather exciting performance. Judge for yourself: a 4.4-liter V8 gasoline engine and an electric motor developing no less than 653 horsepower for a torque of 800 Nm. The whole thing is then sent to the four wheels via an eight-speed M gearbox. But if the 0 to 100 km/h is achieved in 4.3 seconds, the top speed is still limited to 140 km/h… in 100% electric mode. In hybrid mode, it is electronically limited to 270 km/h.
BMW XM 2023: BMW’S MOST POWERFUL PRODUCTION CAR
An even more powerful version will be added to the range in the fall of 2023. The BMW XM Red Label is announced as the most powerful production car in BMW M history, with 748 horsepower and 1,000 Nm of torque.
In all versions, the SUV is equipped with the BMW IconicSounds Electric system, developed in partnership with composer Hans Zimmer. This allows the driver to enjoy a new sound when the car runs in electric mode. This is amplified in Sport and Sport Plus mode, as explained in the brand’s press release.
GARGANTUAN FUEL CONSUMPTION
On paper, the large SUV BMW XM 2023 has almost everything to please. Especially since it is equipped with a large battery with a gross capacity of 29.5 kWh (25.7 kW useful), which could suggest a significant range. However, it is displayed between 82 and 88 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle, which is somewhat disappointing.
Another disappointment is the electric consumption displayed between 28.93 and 30.1 kWh/100 km. This is a very high figure, due in particular to the enormous weight of the car, which is listed at 2,710 kilos according to the technical data sheet. Fuel consumption is between 1.5 and 1.6 l/100 km WLTP. But these figures should be taken with a pinch of salt, as the tests are generally carried out under optimal conditions, which are not close to reality regarding plug-in hybrids.
BMW XM 2023: THE PROBLEM WITH PLUG-IN HYBRIDS
Moreover, as a recent study detailed, the figures for homologations of plug-in hybrid models are generally much more optimistic than in reality because the tests are carried out mainly in electric mode. The data is, therefore, considerably skewed. From 2027 onwards, the proportion of electricity used for the fuel consumption test is expected to fall due to a decision by the European Union, which should lead to an increase in the fuel consumption indicated on the technical data sheets.
A measure that could precipitate the decline of the plug-in hybrid, which will no longer be eligible for the ecological bonus of 1,000 euros from next year. If BMW still believes in this engine, the German company is also developing its electric range. At the same time, it unveiled last August a prototype with four high-performance electric motors, which could foreshadow a future sporty M range.