Watch The BMW XM Thunder Up Pikes Peak
BMW’s first attempt to set a new record at Pikes Peak didn’t go as planned. The hybrid SUV crashed during the run in June. The automaker made a second run on September 21, and it was much more successful. The XM now holds the record for the fastest hybrid production SUV to run the course, which you can watch above.
Professional racing driver Matt Mullins piloted the BMW XM Label Red up the hill in 10 minutes, 48.60 seconds. While the time is impressive, the XM trailed the Lamborghini Urus Performante without a hybrid powertrain when it completed the course last year in 10 minutes, 32.06 seconds. It still holds the outright record among production SUVs.
The crash in June left Mullins unhurt, but the BMW was badly damaged. The SUV had its front passenger wheel torn off and received a cracked windshield. The crash knocked down a tree, but the vehicle’s safety cage remained intact, protecting Mullins from sustaining severe injuries.
The Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado is a grueling test that starts at 9,390 feet above sea level. Over 150 turns separate the start from the finish line at the 14,115-foot summit. Competitors and race fans have been converging on the mountain since 1916.
The BMW XM Label Red produces 738 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque from its hybrid-assisted 4.4-liter V8 engine, making the SUV the automaker’s most powerful production vehicle to date. The electric motor produces 194 hp. BMW claims the SUV can sprint to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds, and the beast can reach a top speed of 175 mph when equipped with the M Driver’s Package.
Mullins has competed in six racing series over his two-decade career. He is BMW’s Chief Driving Instructor at the company’s performance center in South Carolina, where it builds the XM SUV. In 2018, Mullins helped BMW earn a pair of Guinness Records by completing the world’s longest drift and for the longest twin drift.