BMW has strategically unfolded its much-discussed XM sport activity vehicle, opting to debut the higher-powered versions first to capture attention. Now, the automaker is revealing the entry-level model in Europe, and it diverges from the conventional expectations associated with an M flagship, especially considering its substantial size and weight.
Despite the initial surprise at its power output, BMW addresses the primary focus of potential buyers - the price tag, which, starting at £109,825 (approximately US$139,800) in the UK, positions the plug-in hybrid BMW XM 50e as an enticing option. With a commendable electric range of 52 miles and an impressive 217 MPG, this variant emerges as the most efficient model in the XM lineup.
The XM 50e boasts a hybrid powertrain, combining a 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six engine with an integrated electric motor within the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission. This collaboration results in a power output of 469 hp and 700 Nm of torque. Despite the seemingly modest power figures, the XM 50e can achieve a top speed of 250 km/h, with an acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds. While this might appear conservative for an M-branded vehicle, it's important to note that efficiency and sustainability take precedence in this variant.
In comparison to its V8-powered counterpart, the XM 50e exhibits a slightly longer acceleration time, clocking in at 5.1 seconds compared to the V8's 4.3 seconds. Even the range-topping 748 hp XM Label edition surpasses the 50e, achieving the 0-62 mph sprint in just 3.8 seconds.
However, when compared to the diesel-powered X3 M40d, which accomplishes the same sprint in 4.9 seconds and starts at a more affordable £65,250 (around US$83,100), the XM 50e may seem less performance-oriented. Even BMW's 4-cylinder M235i Gran Coupe, priced at $48,300 in the United States, matches the 50e's acceleration time, showcasing the variety in the BMW lineup.
Despite its comparative acceleration figures, BMW emphasizes the XM 50e as the epitome of efficiency within the lineup, thanks to its plug-in hybrid powertrain. The model is capable of covering 83 km on electric power alone and boasts an impressive 217 MPG on the WLTP test cycle.
To distinguish the entry-level model, the XM 50e features design cues, including a black accent band along the vehicle's side, pearl-effect chrome trim around the grille and rear diffuser, and a tailpipe finished in high gloss black with silver borders. Excitingly, production of the XM 50e is set to commence in March, marking the advent of BMW's efficient and aesthetically distinct entry into the XM series.