Charl Bosch
Online Motoring Reporter
2 minute read
29 Jun 2021
1:10 pm

Questionable name? Forthcoming BMW X8 M to become XM

Charl Bosch

Choice of X8 M's 'new name' could attract unwanted attention from Stellantis if approved.

BMW X7 will be succeeded by the X8/XM from next year as BMW's flagship SUV.

On course to debut next year, a recent report has said that BMW’s incoming X8 M will no longer feature the latter designation when it goes on sale.

In what seems to be a confirmation of a claim last year claiming the X8 M will be a standalone model developed by BMW M and with no relation to any other X models, the BMW Blog claims Munich’s new flagship will be called XM, a name likely to attract unwelcome attention from Citroën which used the nomenclature from 1989 for 2000 for its CX replacement in Europe.

While it’s unknown whether the Stellantis marque still holds the rights to the XM name, BMW is forging ahead with its version that will slot in above the X7, but won’t adopt a coupe-like shape similar to the X4 and X6.

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As evident by the images snapped by Instagram user joelre98 of the still heavily disguised pre-production model undergoing testing at the Nürburgring last month, the XM boasts a conventional SUV design but with a fastback-like sloping roofline and what appears to be a less controversial kidney grille than on the 4 Series, M3/M4 and iX.

Reportedly riding on a bespoke chassis, the XM will derive motivation from the familiar 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 used in the M5, M8, X5 M and X6 M, but with the addition of an electric motor for a reported total output of 559 kW and 1 001 Nm of torque, figures which will result in it being the most powerful production BMW ever made.

RELATED: BMW X8 shows its camouflaged self as more M rumours emerge

As is stands, though, it remains to be seen whether only the M model will be known as the XM, as an M Performance model, called the M45e, has also been rumoured, along with a line-up of otherwise “conventional” models poised to feature the same assortment of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines as the X5, X6 and X7.

The most likely of scenarios is that these models will be called X8 with only the M sporting the XM name. However, this is purely speculative and still unconfirmed.

In a related piece, the Bimmerpost online forum claims the XM, known internally as the G09, will enter production in December next year before being discontinued in November 2027 for good. Sales will therefore only commence in 2023 but, before then, expect more details and images to be revealed both officially and in the form of leaks.