The BMW Concept XM will enter production, and that version will be pretty darned close to the concept. Based on the number of negative comments we received about styling in our Concept XM debut article, there are a few people not enthused about BMW's design direction. Here's hoping it's an acquired taste, because more of the same is on-deck for future models.
That's the word according to a report from Driving, which had occasion to chat with Frank van Meel, the head of BMW's M group. Among the items of discussion were the XM's origins, envisioned as a performance-oriented warhorse to face the Lamborghini Urus and Mercedes-AMG G-Class. Our takeaway, however, was a mention that illuminated grilles and small diamond headlights similar to those on the Concept XM will transition to other BMW production models in the future – M variants included.
As if by magic (or more accurately, the Chinese government), images surfaced while this article was being written that support this illuminated BMW future. China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology posted photos of the new BMW i3 sedan that will be offered in the Chinese market, complete with an illuminated grille. Basically an electric 3 Series sedan, the forthcoming vehicle doesn't have headlights quite as small as those on the Concept XM, but the next-gen model certainly could.
If illuminated grilles and diamond headlights are the primary cues that carry over from the Concept XM, the future may not be as dire as BMW's critics would suggest. The bizarre body lines and odd proportions of the big SUV appear to bear the brunt of the criticism. At least BMW's future will still be a fast one, as the Concept XM packs a hybrid powertrain developing no less than 750 hp (551 kW). Provided that setup makes it to production, it would become BMW's most powerful road-going vehicle ever.