LOS ANGELES — BMW is expanding its utility vehicle lineup with the first standalone vehicle from its M performance brand since the BMW M1 launched five decades ago.
The BMW Concept XM, revealed at a press event here this month, is a preview of the most powerful M vehicle in its lineup, the automaker said.
The series-production version of the XM will launch late next year, assembled at BMW's U.S. factory in South Carolina.
Franciscus van Meel, CEO of the M brand for BMW, described the XM as "a pinnacle of expressive luxury."
He noted the new model's target customer as being "extroverted" and "non-conformist."
"We are really addressing target groups that we didn't address within BMW and M," van Meel said.
The new model will be offered worldwide, but the U.S. will be the single-biggest market, BMW said.
Like its Mercedes-Benz rival AMG, BMW's M subbrand holds a high level of prestige in the marketplace, and having a standalone model keeps it in that exclusive strata, said Sam Fiorani, vice president at AutoForecast Solutions.
"This new model will pull up the other M editions, as buyers see them as more aspirational than just simply a trim level on otherwise common models," Fiorani said.