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

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

If BMW was until then a little behind some of its rivals with regard to the electrification of its range, the German company has been working hard for some years to catch up. And reach your goals. Indeed, it provides that half of its range will be electrified by the end of the decadewith a third of the 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 i7, it also continues to bet on the rechargeable hybrid. That’s why it introduced the XM concept in November 2021, a large electrified SUV billed as the most powerful model in the range.

A few months later, the production version finally sees the light of day, revealing its rather interesting performance. Judge for yourself: a 4.4-liter gasoline V8 and an electric motor developing no less than 653 horsepower, for a torque of 800 Nm. Everything is then sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed M gearbox. But if 0 to 100 km/h is reached in 4.3 seconds, the 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 advertised as the most powerful production car in the history of the BMW Mwith an output of 748 horsepower for 1,000 Nm of torque.

Whatever the version, the SUV is equipped with the BMW IconicSounds Electric system, developed in partnership with composer Hans Zimmer. This allows the driver to enjoy 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.

gigantic consumption

On paper, the big SUV therefore has almost everything to please. Especially as it is equipped witha large battery with a gross capacity of 29.5 kWh (25.7 kW useful), which could suggest a significant range. But this one nevertheless displays between 82 and 88 kilometers according to the WLTP cycle, which remains a little disappointing.

Another disappointment is the energy consumption, displayed between 28.93 and 30.1 kWh/100 km. A very high figure, which we owe in particular to the car’s elephantine weight, displayed at 2,710 kilos according to the datasheet. In turn, fuel consumption varies between 1.5 and 1.6 l/100 km WLTP. But these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, because tests are usually performed under optimal conditionsnothing close to reality when it comes to plug-in hybrid cars.

The problem with plug-in hybrids

Also, as detailed in a recent study, the numbers for rechargeable hybrid model approvals are generally much more optimistic than in reality, because testing mostly takes place in electric mode. The data are therefore considerably biased. From 2027, the share of electricity used for the consumption test must then be reduced following a decision by the European Union, which must lead to an increase in fuel consumption indicated in the technical data sheets.

A move that could precipitate the decline of the rechargeable hybrid, which will no longer be eligible for the 1,000 euro ecological bonus from next year. If BMW still believes in this engine, the German company is also developing its electric range, when it unveiled a prototype last August equipped with four high-performance electric motors, which could foreshadow a future M sports range.

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