BMW launches 653 hp electrified car limited to 140 km/h

BMW unveils its new XM, a large plug-in hybrid SUV with insane power but somewhat disappointing range in 100% electric mode.

If until then BMW had been a little behind some of its competitors in terms of the electrification of its range, the German company has been working hard for a few years to catch up. And achieve your goals. It actually provides that half of its range is to be electrified by the end of the decadewith a third of 100% electric models.

Crazy performance on paper

If the brand with the propeller today offers a wide range of electric cars, with the i3, i4, iX, iX3 or even the i7, people also continue to believe in the rechargeable hybrid. This is especially the reason why it unveiled the XM concept in November 2021, a large electrified SUV announced as the most powerful model in the range.

A few months later, the production version finally sees the light of day and reveals its rather interesting performance. Assess yourself: a 4.4 liter petrol V8 and an electric motor that develops no less than 653 horsepower, for a torque of 800 Nm. Everything is then sent to the four wheels via an eight-speed M gearbox. But if 0 to 100 km/h is reached in 4.3 seconds, top speed is still limited to 140 km/h… in 100% electric mode. In hybrid mode, this is electronically limited to 270 km/h.

BMW’s most powerful production car

An even more efficient version will also expand the range in autumn 2023. Called the BMW XM Red Label, it is announced as the most powerful production car in BMW M historywith an output of 748 horsepower for 1,000 Nm of torque.

Regardless of the version, the SUV is equipped with the BMW IconicSounds Electric system, developed in collaboration with the composer Hans Zimmer. This allows the driver to enjoy a new sound when the car is running in electric mode. This is then amplified in Sport and Sport Plus mode, as explained in the brand’s press release.

Large consumption

On paper, the large SUV therefore has almost everything to please. Especially since it is equipped witha large battery with a gross capacity of 29.5 kWh (25.7 kW useful), which could indicate a considerable autonomy. However, this is shown between 82 and 88 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle, which is still somewhat disappointing.

Another disappointment is the power consumption, which is shown between 28.93 and 30.1 kWh/100 km. A very high number, which we mainly owe to the car’s elephantine weight, shown at 2,710 kilos according to the technical sheet. For its part, fuel consumption fluctuates between 1.5 and 1.6 l/100 km WLTP. But these figures must be taken with a grain of salt, because the tests are generally performed under optimal conditionsnot at all close to reality as far as plug-in hybrid cars are concerned.

The problem with plug-in hybrids

Also, the approval numbers for plug-in hybrid models, as detailed in a recent study, are generally much more optimistic than reality because the tests are mainly in electric mode. The data is therefore significantly biased. From 2027, the share of electricity used for the consumption test must be reduced following a decision by the EU, which must lead to an increase in the fuel consumption indicated on the technical data sheets.

A measure that could then accelerate the decline of the rechargeable 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, as last August it revealed a prototype equipped with four high-performance electric motors, which could foreshadow a future M sports series.

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