This is how BMW’s future grill designs will evolve. Expect more BMW grill memes as well. Jokes aside, the BMW XM design team knows better.
BMW’s M division presented at Art Basel’s 2021 Miami Beach Show its latest hybrid-SUV concept named “XM.” The manufacturing of the XM will start by the end of 2022 at the Spartanburg plant in the USA. It is said to hold high importance in BMW’s market share in this segment.
The car looks promising. It boasts new features and design elements. It also looks truly competitive performance wise. Other than that, BMW plans to enlarge even more its grills despite criticism.
The final production model of the XM concept will be offered only in M trim It will combine a 4.4L, twin-turbo, V8 engine with a powerful electric motor, for a total output of 750hp (550kW), and 1,000Nm (737lb-ft) of torque. Its standalone electric range is about 80km (50mil). Acceleration will be sub 3.8s for the 0-100km/h (0-60mph) sprint. Impressive figures nonetheless. After all, this aims to be the most powerful SUV to date.
Even more impressive about the XM concept, is the interior design. It feels completely new compared to the same monotonic and dated design that BMW has been keeping for the last 20 years or so. The new driver-centered cockpit makes use of an ultra-widescreen that displays all the necessary functions of the vehicle.
A serious reduction of the physical buttons has taken place too. This enforces the idea that this is, indeed, a futuristic car. Finally, the quality of the materials is impeccable. Carbon fiber, copper lining, leather, and metallic accents are laid out throughout the cabin. The passenger will get an unambiguous feel of luxury and comfort.
This is where things are getting a bit weird. The exterior design, although reminiscent of the latest BMW X5, feels mostly inspired by the Tesla Cybertruck. With all the square sides and sharp edges produce a bricky design. That equals “future” these days.
The windows are narrow, the car looks bulky for sportiness, and the wheel rims look nothing like BMW’s. Overall, the car is an odd mixture of the Range Rover Velar with the BMW X5. At the same time, it presents the bulkiness of the Land Rover Defender. I really like the front and rear lights, though. They appear to be minimal, sleek, and highly functional They make both ends look less busy.
I saved the best for the end, as I believe it deserves its own section. BMW clearly is trying to communicate to us that its grills aren’t big enough. It’s undoubtedly obvious that for BMW bigger means better. Even though modern cars barely need that much cooling, to begin with, somehow a huge grill is needed. If you recall, BMW confirmed that the memes for the 2020 7-Series came true, and this is a similar case. I just hope they won’t build the “2050” model as portrayed in the picture below.
Jokes aside, the BMW design team still knows what it’s doing. They’ve admitted themselves that the cars are tailored to actual BMW buyers that tend to remain faithful to the brand. Windows shoppers don’t matter to them. You can’t argue with that.
However, from a subjective point of view, the future should make less use of huge grills. It should also drop the trend of fake vents and exhaust. There’s no point to it. I am sure any car would look better if it had its own design language instead of fearing deviation from the established designs.
What’s your opinion on the XM concept?
Do you think the big-grill trend should stop?
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