A NEW STANDALONE M CAR
almost 50 years after M – BMW’s high-performance sub-brand – raced on to the scene, the BMW Concept XM reveals the first standalone M car since the legendary M1 in 1972. the concept car looks ahead at their most powerful model ever to go into series production, energized through electric. the debuts continue as the model showcases a new design language dedicated to the emerging desires of expressive luxury.
‘BMW – as well as our customers – always wanted to have a standalone M car again, following the M1 back in 1972. it is the first ever electrified, high-performance purposed M. this is completely new and unique, from its design through to its technology and segment class,’ begins franciscus van meel, BMW M CEO, in an interview with designboom ahead of the concept car’s premiere at art basel miami 2021.
all images courtesy of the BMW Group
the BMW Concept XM is a bold statement. the standalone M car hints at how electrification will underpin the brand’s famed driving pleasure in the near future, as M style performance is delivered in near silence. its exterior and interior design is expressive and luxurious, which manifests and reflects the extravagant character of the customer. production will start at the end of 2022.
‘BMW M was founded to deliver sportiness in luxury, and that is still our mission today.’ franciscus continues to explain, ‘there are three key parts for the future of BMW M. the first aims to answer how we can achieve the high-performance characteristics of M through electrification. the Concept XM delivers this as a hybrid, adding 80 km of electric range too. the second topic looks to understand the possibilities of motorsports now that it is fully integrated within the sub-brand. expressive luxury – how we can reflect the personality of our customers through the design – is the final point.’
BMW’s future design language of expressive luxury
expressive luxury is immediately apparent at the front-end of the design. as instantly recognizable traits of BMW, slim headlight signatures sit either side of the kidney grille, which is highlighted by a near-octagonal outline of light. a black belt, borrowed from the 1972 M1, wraps around the waistline. taillight signatures extend around the flanks to span nearly the full width of the model. typical M traits continue as special logos are laser-etched into the rear window below the two cant rails.
‘people can see its high-performance characteristics from the design: the stance, upright A-pillars that create a strong cabin, the two jet engine-like air intakes on the bonnet, big wheels, and its long wheelbase,’ adds the BMW M CEO.
inside, the interior design is distinctly split into two cabins, each expressively luxurious in their own unique way. the front creates a driver-oriented cockpit lush with high-quality materials like leather, copper and carbon fiber. powerful geometry shapes the architecture, from the surfaces to the instrument panel, center console, door trim and more. subtle decorations, such as the tricolor trim, visually hint at the M-exclusive nature of the design. the rear reveals the M lounge – a personal and personality-reflecting space for passengers. an illuminated canopy of undulating prisms covers the deep, soft and velvet-upholstered bench. the result is a highly expressive, characterful yet comfortable environment for the occupant.