BMW unveils high-performance XM hybrid electric concept vehicle ahead of U.S. production

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  • BMW unveiled a high-performance concept vehicle Monday night, previewing an electrified crossover expected to begin production late next year in South Carolina.
  • The new production car, called the BMW XM, will be available exclusively as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle under the company’s “M” performance division, the company said.
  • BMW said the US will be the most important sales market for the new high-performance vehicle.

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BMW unveiled a new high-performance concept vehicle on Monday evening, previewing the electrified crossover expected to begin production late next year in South Carolina.

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The automaker said the new production car, called the BMW XM, will be available exclusively as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle under the company’s “M” performance division. The concept car, unveiled on Monday, includes a V-8 engine combined with electric motors to offer 750 horsepower and 737 foot-pounds of torque.

A BMW spokesperson declined to confirm whether the production vehicle would match those performance metrics, but a release called the upcoming vehicle “the most powerful BMW M car ever in the series’ production.”

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BMW said the US will be the most important sales market for the new high-performance vehicle.

In addition to previewing the new car, the German automaker said the Concept XM shows a new front-end design direction for BMW’s future luxury models. The front of the vehicle featured two large nostril grilles, sleek headlights and a more aggressive front fascia than the traditionally smooth lines on BMW models.

The interior of the vehicle features vintage-look leather, copper and carbon fiber, as well as a large digital information and command center.

“The BMW Concept XM represents a complete re-imagining of the high-performance vehicle segment,” BMW M CEO Franciscus Van Meil ​​said in a release. “It underscores BMW M GmbH’s ability to break with established traditions and push the boundaries to deliver the ultimate driving experience to fans of the brand.”

This may come as a surprise to some, given the auto industry’s current focus on all-electric vehicles, being a plug-in hybrid model that does not include a conventional engine. BMW has also said that it plans to have at least 50% of its global deliveries all-electric vehicles by 2030.

Plug-in hybrid models are seen by many as a step towards fully electric vehicles. The automaker said on Monday that the BMW Concept XM includes up to 30 miles of all-electric driving.

Concept Vehicle Unveiled BMW CEO Oliver Gipsey told CNBC that the company will unveil a new vehicle this year that will be built at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The Spartanburg plant currently produces the BMW X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 as well as performance models for most vehicles.

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