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Mr T wants his van back – BMW XM Label Red review

There has been a seemingly endless stream of fun being poked at BMW’s most powerful M-Sport creation, the XM SUV. From its polarising design to whether a PHEV should wear an M-badge. But I’m here to say that despite its A-Team van looking profile, the BMW XM Label Red is quite simply, outstanding.

Limited to just 500 units worldwide, the XM Label Red is a unique powerhouse in the automotive world. Positioned as BMW’s most potent SUV, it takes the throne as the brand’s mightiest creation to date, showcasing unparalleled performance and luxury elements. 

BMW XM Label Red review NZ

Manufactured in Spartanburg, North Carolina, in design alone the BMW XM challenges conventional beemer expectations, however, it would appear that the ‘Mericans have taken the M-philosophy to heart and given this EV SUV more power than you can shake a stick at. 

BMW XM Label Red review NZ

Getting right to it, powering this 5.1m long, 2.8-tonne goliath is an ‘electrified’ 4.4L V8 TwinPower Turbo engine coupled with an 8-speed Steptronic gearbox. Combined the PHEV system generates a jaw-dropping 550kW of power and a colossal 1,000Nm of torque. 0 to 100 km/h comes in at a blistering 3.8 seconds and despite its monstrous performance capabilities, the XM Label Red boasts impressive fuel efficiency, promising around 1.6 L/100 km – aided by its 26kWh battery (so yes you can travel in EV only mode).

BMW XM Label Red review NZ

My review model came in a frozen carbon black finish, which although will undoubtedly be a bugger to keep clean, really accentuated the striking Toronto Red accents (around the grille and profile) that define its nameplate. 

Now about that design. Let’s call the XM ‘angular’ and be done with it. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but personally I like it, and it gets even better the more you spend time with it. BMW have made a big deal around the redesigned kidney grille by not only giving it a Toronto red surround but added an ‘iconic glow’ to it too. The wheels are an imposing 22-inches and the quad exhaust outlets are to me, more tuneful than the Hans Zimmer soundtrack when in EV mode. 

BMW XM Label Red review NZ

BMW claims that the opulent cabin is where luxury meets innovation, and they’re not wrong. Soft-touch materials, premium leather seats with Toronto Red accents, and intricate M-themed stitching envelope passengers in refined comfort. The roof lining is as artistic as a recording studio wall and the tri-colours of the BMW M logo dart along the edge upon start-up. 

The dual-screen infotainment system comes with M-inspired colour schemes too, and they offer a plethora of features, from cutting-edge tech integrations to customizable driving settings.

The rear cabin (or M Lounge as BMW calls it) is an oasis of plush comfort, it showcases bespoke detailing, ambient lighting, and ultra-soft M-branded cushions (that were lucky to be returned) for an indulgent experience. In fact, craftsmanship and attention to detail elevates the entire interior ambiance, while the Bowers & Wilkins audio system provides an immersive sound experience, but like I said before, the quad-pipe soundtrack is all I really needed. 

Performance is at the heart of the BMW XM Label Red, and that’s not just in its off the mark sprint and colossal straight line speed, this big beast can corner too. The vehicle’s agility defies its size, blending speed with comfort seamlessly. With all-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, and enhanced braking capabilities, the XM Label Red delivers a thrilling and engaging driving experience. 

BMW XM Label Red review NZ

Out in the wilds, the steering itself is responsive and very positive, overtaking is a breeze (although beware as I’m sure the cops can spot you from a mile away) thanks to the carbon fibre boost paddle – I pity the damn fool that tries to race you. And yet it’s as domesticated as it comes when driving around the city. And for added ease, there are red M1 and M2 buttons on the wheel that can be personalised for your driving pleasure – as an example, mine was set up as M1 for full on performance while M2 was for comfort.

BMW XM Label Red review NZ

Talk about ‘loving it when a plan comes together’, the BMW XM Label Red is more than just a vehicle; it’s a statement of power, luxury, and exclusivity. It’s a fusion of high-performance engineering and unparalleled craftsmanship, setting the bar high for performance luxury SUVs. Sure its looks aren’t for everyone, but rest assured it commands attention wherever it goes, and for the record is VERY M worthy.

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