BMW has revealed the Concept XM –  a model that previews a new standalone performance SUV. 

While BMW’s ‘M’ models are normally sportier versions of existing cars, the XM will instead be a standalone model developed exclusively by the brand’s performance arm. The last time this happened was with the original M1, which is now hugely collectible. 

Set to be shown off in road-ready form next year, the XM will go into production at the end of 2022 at the brand’s Spartanburg factory in South Carolina – BMW’s ‘home’ of SUVs – with the XM set to prove most popular in the US.

It will also be BMW’s first electrified M model, with the XM set to pair the existing 4.4-litre V8 engine together with an electric motor for a combined 740bhp and 1,000Nm of torque – comfortably making it the brand’s most powerful model to date. At the same time, a battery of around 20kWh in size means the XM can travel on electricity for around 50 miles. Its powertrain also points ‘towards the future of the brand’, BMW says. 

Rivalling the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S-E Hybrid and Audi RSQ8, the XM looks to continue with BMW’s bold design language, with the new SUV set to get a huge grille, accompanied by split LED headlights – the latter will be a feature rolled out across future BMWs. 

It also gets a more coupe-like profile (it will be considerably lower than the BMW X7), along with giant 23-inch alloy wheels. Around the rear there are giant LED lights, and a large piece of tailgate glass that sits flush with the car. Laser-etched BMW logos also appear at the top of the rear windows – a nod to the M1.

Inside, the XM takes various elements from BMW’s new iX, including the cool twin curved media screens and more minimalist layout. At the same time, BMW is also aiming to make the XM more luxury-focused, which is something that the firm says customers have been asking for. This luxury comes from its ‘lounge-like’ interior, which features the likes of vintage-looking brown leather and copper thread detailing. The rear seats are also trimmed in diamond-quilted velvet for a further upmarket touch.