Home Lifestyle Motoring 550kW XM Red Label is the most potent production BMW ever

550kW XM Red Label is the most potent production BMW ever

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Large and in charge, the BMW XM Red Label is the company’s most powerful production model ever, and it’s coming to South Africa.

MUNICH – Love it or loathe it, the new BMW XM Red Label is large and in charge, and it also happens to be the Bavarian carmaker’s most powerful production model ever.

The Red Label is the flagship version of the new BMW XM that was revealed to the world last year, and global production will be limited to just 500 units. Some of these have been allocated to South Africa, although launch timing and other local details have yet to be released.

Featuring a hybrid drivetrain that pairs a twin-turbo V8 petrol engine to an electric motor for system outputs of 550kW and 1,000Nm, the Red Label is significantly perkier than the standard XM, whose similar hybrid powertrain produces 480kW and 800Nm.

Power goes to all four wheels through an eight-speed M Steptronic gearbox, which also incorporates the 145kW electric motor, and an M-tuned xDrive all-wheel drive system.

When everything is working in pedal-mashing harmony, the BMW XM Red Label will sprint from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds, the company claims, making it half a second quicker than the regular XM. The top speed is 290km/h in cars fitted with the M Driver’s Package, which will feature as standard in South African cars.

However there is also an efficient side to its Jeckyl and Hyde personality, thanks to 25.7 kWh battery that allows this plug-in hybrid model to cover around 75km on electric power alone, on the WLTP cycle.

Although this is a big and heavy machine, BMW has put considerable effort into mitigating its immense bulk and making it as agile as possible. This includes model-specific tuning for the adaptive M suspension system as well as Active Roll Comfort to eliminate body roll. There’s also an M Sport differential that allows for fully variable torque distribution between the two rear wheels.

Bringing things to a halt is an M Sport braking system featuring six-piston fixed-calliper brakes up front and single-piston, floating calliper units at the back.

The BMW XM also has a 4WD Sand mode that was created specifically for driving over dunes.

You’ll be able to tell the Red Label apart by its Toronto Red metallic grille surround and rear diffuser insert. SA models will be fitted with 22-inch alloy wheels as standard and buyers will get to choose from over 50 BMW Individual paint finishes.

The black and red colour scheme is also very much apparent in the cabin of the Red Label. The black 3D headliner, pillar surfaces and lower seat sections are contrasted by red upholstery on the upper sections of the seats, and red contrast stitching and trim pieces in various locations.

Buyers can also look forward to a boat load of standard kit, including a BMW Curved Display cockpit with M-specific content, Head-Up Display, four-zone climate control and a Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System.

You can also turn the rear compartment into something of an ‘M Lounge’ with optional Merino leather cushions and heated backrests that extend well into the sides of the cabin.

South African pricing for the BMW XM Red Label will be confirmed nearer to launch.

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