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BMW XM Puts On A Track Suit For Safety Car Gig

The potent SUV has been adorned with a special two-tone black and gold wrap and rocks a roof-mounted light bar

Australia’s famous Mount Panorama Circuit hosted the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race over the weekend and while most eyes were fixed on the racing action, the safety car used also turned plenty of heads.

The organizers of the event recently inked a multi-year deal with BMW M, which entails using the sub-brand’s vehicles as on-track cars. While BMW had the option to deploy one of its smaller and more agile models as the safety car, it chose to provide the new XM instead. This crazy SUV marks the first vehicle developed exclusively by the BMW M division since the famed M1 supercar. While it may not be tailored specifically for the track, it still boasts ample performance capabilities.

Most would agree the XM is one of the most outlandish-looking SUVs on the market and the safety car version stands out even further thanks to a two-tone wrap that starts out matte black at the front and fades into a shade of gold at the rear. It also has the obligatory decals denoting it as the safety car while also sporting a large light bar on the roof.

“Our involvement with the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour as the official Safety Car partner complements the return of BMW M WRT race team to Mount Panorama, underlining BMW’s commitment to motorsport, high performance cars and the global significance of the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour,” BMW Australia general manager of marketing Alex McLean said at the event.

“The new BMW XM is a key component of our new partnership and we look forward to featuring it in the 2024 edition of the event. As well as performing its important on-track duties, it will also act as a luxury transfer vehicle, transporting guests from the base of Mount Panorama to the summit and enabling them to enjoy multiple perspectives of the action,” he added.

This version of the XM features a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 under the hood that is supplemented by an electric motor and an eight-speed automatic transmission driving all four wheels. Total output is 644 hp and 590 lb-ft (799 Nm) of torque. However, given that it weighs over 6,000 lbs (2,721 kg), driving it around some of Bathurst’s most famous corners must have been quite an eye-opening experience.